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Jim Highberger

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Everything posted by Jim Highberger

  1. Gray overcast rainy at time of observation so photo quality not good. First heard the hawk - sounded similar to Cooper's Hawk recording on eBird. Small in size (too large for Sharp-shinned I believe) and with longish tail. Brownish compared to mature Cooper's. Initially concluded it was an immature Cooper's but a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks had chicks this year so wondering if it might be immature Red-shouldered Hawk? Guidance and analysis as always would be appreciated. Thank you!
  2. Any help in identifying these shorebirds would be much appreciated. Yellowish legs, size, bill, etc. initially had me thinking these were Least Sandpipers but spotting or pattern on breast and around belly led me to immature Red Knots. Least Sandpipers have white bellies I believe so that would rule them out I think? So would these be Red Knots (immature / non-breeding) or something other? Thank you!
  3. Wow - thanks. That is a first / lifer for me. Thank you for your review and explanations! I will keep them on file.
  4. I'm not a frequent beach birder and when I go the Sanderlings are normally pale (whitish, light gray, light tan). Spotted what appears to be a Sanderling in size and shape excepted darker and deeply colored - assuming this may be breeding Sanderling? Or did I miss something? Only got three photos as attached. Thank you!
  5. Pine Siskin? Was there any yellow evident near wing tips? on tail? Appears to have wing bars and striping similar to Pine Siskin.
  6. Thanks - I agree - maybe not full maturity? But more I look the more I see Swainson's. Thank you!
  7. There are various types of thrushes / veery's migrating through at the moment. Seeing some Swainson's but this appeared duller, slightly grayish, and without the more defined eye ring seen on Swainson's. I am assuming it is a Swainson's but Gray-cheeked also being reported at same site. Would appreciate any guidance or confirmation on this sighting. Thank you!
  8. Also, the Peterson Field Guide says Long-billed show more "rounded" bodies when feeding, such as visible in your photos.
  9. Thank you! That was my suspicion - Warbling. Sorry about poor photos so really appreciate the review and help!
  10. Shape of head typically determines difference between Greater and Lesser. Greater has rounded head like what appears in your pictures. Lesser has more of a peaked head, a bit more angular rear crown (above and back of eyes). I am not a waterfowl expert so hopefully someone else will chime in on this.
  11. Pale Vireo with no wing bars sighted in small dense tree near Texas Gulf Coast (Quintana - due south of Houston). I believe it may be Warbling Vireo but would appreciate assistance identifying. Unable to obtain good photos (please see attached) but it appeared to lack yellowish coloring typical with Philadelphia and appeared to lack defined eyebrow normally found on Red-eyed (although third photo shows hint of this trait). All three species currently arriving here on Texas coast - but pale eye line leads me to believe this is a Warbling Vireo. Advice and suggestions appreciated. Thank you!
  12. Thank you all for input. Looking at this for quite some time as with all Empids. I think the primaries are comparatively longer on this specimen which would also point to Acadian. Again, thanks to all for reviewing this.
  13. Thanks all. To IKLland, I did not notice any tail movement, it was exhausted as near as I could tell. A couple other birders were present and agreed that it was apparently exhausted from flight over Gulf in high winds. It sat still, under some tree branches for several minutes until an observer got too close which caused it to take flight. I thought it could be Acadian or Least. As noted Empids are difficult to identify. Please let ,e know if there are any other ideas on this. Thank you!
  14. Photos attached of a Flycatcher that landed at Quintana, Texas park near coast on windy morning April 1 (gusts to 40 MPH). Was disheveled and exhausted so easy to photograph although sitting under foliage cover. I am guessing it is a Least Flycatcher but eye ring not as defined as normally witnessed on Leasts. Gray coloring with pale breast as normal with Leasts. Can someone confirm or correct? Empids worth review I believe so any assistance would be appreciated. Thank you!
  15. Photos attached of sparrow seen lakeside in brush - large park on western edge of Houston. Thought it might be Chipping Sparrow but no eye stripe visible. Tail feathers have white outline and tail is notched like with Chipping and with Field. Eye ring fainter than normally observed with Field but specimen was in low light area. Vespers have been seen in area as well but outer tail feathers not as white as typical with Vesper. Any assistance would be appreciated. Thank you!
  16. Spotted attached small hawk near San Bernard River in South Texas. Unable to get close due fences and ditch so attached photos as best as I could do. Profile, size, colors, and smallish beak seem to match traits of Merlins. Or is this a juvenile hawk of another type? Thank you!
  17. I have no diagnosis as to cause of death but first thing I would do is empty and clean bird feeder then refill with fresh bird food.
  18. Thank you all - the eye color is what had me confused to begin with. The Boat-tailed Grackles I have seen here in Texas have had the brown iris. Plus the overall coloring is rather plain compared to subtle striping that female Great-tailed Grackles normally display. The specimen was with Great-tailed Grackles - so I thought perhaps it might be immature, or perhaps Common. Will tag it as Great-tailed. Thank you all!
  19. Attached photos taken on Texas Gulf Coast near Galveston 1-13-21. Specimen was with Great-tailed Grackles but differs from females which generally have subtle striping on the face, slimmer bodies, and longer tail. Is this an immature Great-tailed, Common, or other? Any assistance wouold be appreciated. Thank you!
  20. Thanks - normally I see a white eye ring to identify the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher id. The specimen in photo does have the white outer coloring on the tail as with Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. Thank you!
  21. Cleaning out photo files for 2020 - still have the attached open - taken in park area in Nacogdoches, Texas (East Texas). Only got the two attached pics. Thought it might be Mockingbird variant - but no stripes on wings, wings are brownish in color. What am I missing? Any direction on this would be appreciated. Merlin gives limited choices - young thrasher? or immature Great-crested Flycatcher? Thank you!
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