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Jim Highberger

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  1. Meadowlark spotted in prairie and lake area west of Houston. Eastern Meadowlarks frequently seen in area but recently there have been some reports on eBird of Western Meadowlark sightings. Photos posted looked very similar to my photos as attached. Dull coloring (non-breeding) - head appears flat - it was by itself. Initially thought it was non-breeding Eastern but it appears very similar to those of Westerns I have seen posted this month. Thanks!
  2. Thank you for responses and tips. AlexHenry: I appreciate the helpful tip on Greater Scaups diving behavior. This was informative as I was not aware. I did not notice them actively diving when pictures taken but they were in the distance so I may have missed their activity. Thank you all!
  3. Attached photos taken at Houston area lake where numerous waterfowl were present. There were several Lesser Scaups on the lake plus a couple Scaups with rounded heads, greenish tint to heads, and what appeared to be slightly larger size which I thought might be Greater Scaups. However black tip of bill (nail) was not noticeably large, possibly due to camera angle. Also, white wing stripe does not appear as long in a couple photos as I have seen previously on Greaters (possibly factor of age or time of year?). Any guidance on this would be appreciated. Thank you!
  4. I believe the non-breeding White-faced Ibises will not show white face. This WFI's here on the upper Texas coast are not breeding at the moment - or at least the ones I have seen in recent weeks are not displaying white face. As "Peromyscus" notes the White-faced have red eyes. And the Glossy Ibises are uncommon here in Texas. As to the hybrid issue I'll let the experts elaborate on that topic;
  5. Four small to medium size shore birds took flight out of an area on edge of lake surrounded by tall grass. This area is nearly 100 miles from the Gulf Coast, northwest of Houston. Only shots I got were with birds in flight. It appears there may be two of each as two have shorted bills (longer than Plovers - more like Sanderlings) and two have longer bills (like Willet or Yellowlegs - wing patterns not a match for these however). In first photo, with trees in background, it appears the lower two bird have white wing stripe with darkish back edge to wings and shorter bills - possibly Sanderlings? In the first photo the top two birds have longer bills and white trailing edge to wings. Also appears to be dark spot on white section of leading edge on wings for these two birds. Looking closely to me it appears these are two different breeds. Can anyone point me in the right direction on these? As always, thank you for your expert opinions!
  6. Thanks! Yes, I could not see any hint of eye ring. Vespers were in the area and were slightly darker in color with very evident eye rings and white tail border. With your suggestions I am now researching McCowns Longspur - it looks like a young / immature in the guide books, etc. I would not have found that without everyone's help. Thank you!
  7. This bird was spotted on open sage brush prairie - very sparse area. Pale or light tan - unfortunately only able to get three photos, two of back / top and one in flight - please see attached. Have not been able to find a match - perhaps it is immature or female? Any tips or identification would be appreciated. Thank you!
  8. Thanks - wow - never considered "wet" - but there were water features in park so it may have just had a bath. Thanks!
  9. Thank you! After looking at this for six months it is nice to get a confirmation. Thanks!
  10. Sorry to be asking for help on birds spotted six months ago but I have not solved identification of this duck which flew out of small water hole in the woods of a large Houston park. I am guessing it may be a Wood Duck but hoping you experts might make a determination on this. Thank you!
  11. Fall migration passing through south currently but I still have one from spring migration north that remains a puzzle to me. Photographs from 4-1-21 at Quintana, Texas. Some definite markings are evident on underside (black streaks on white belly), black and yellowish spots on breast. Also, white eye-ring on grayish head, and back with evidence of some yellow present on topside. Unfortunately was only able to get photos (poor quality) from underneath as bird sat high in tree. Anyone have ideas or pointers on this? Help would be appreciated. Thank you!
  12. Thank you! I manipulated/edited photos to the point i could see the whiteness in iris. Thank you!
  13. Attached are photos of what I thought was a Yellow-throated Vireo - photos taken in poor light but throat appears gray or buff. Wing bars, bright yellow spectacles, etc. point to Yellow-throated but gray throat has me questioning identification. Is throat color just an aberration on this specimen, or could it be something other that Yellow-throated Vireo? Thank you.
  14. In area where flycatchers, phoebes, and wood-pewees were sight. Thought it was wood-pewee (Western possibly) but am not seeing wingbars on this bird - it was definitely dark in color but breast is not black and belly not white enough to be Black Phoebe, There is orangish area on lower mandible like with Wood-Pewee but, again, no readily visible wingbars. Basically not sure what I am looking at unless juvenile or immature. Photos attached. Any tip or identification would be appreciated. Thank you,
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