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Posts posted by DLecy

  1. 26 minutes ago, Zoroark said:

    Out here, during spring/fall migration, you're often not getting much further than "Empidonax sp." if you don't get a good look and don't hear a call, especially if you're going by a photo after the fact. We've got six that regularly occur, plus the easy-to-mistake Western Wood-Pewee and Olive-Sided Flycatcher.

    Yes, in the west during fall migration "Empidonax sp." is a very responsible method for sorting flycatchers as they are often silent that time of year. Even all presumed Pac-slope Flycatchers get the "Western" Pac-slope/Cordilleran treatment in coastal CA during fall months. 

    Right now in my county we are trying to figure out a good approach to the annual Allen's/Rufous debate, but many/most birds should responsibly be left as a slash.

    • Like 2
  2. 2 hours ago, RobinHood said:

    Definitely not chasing or even going to see - more a general interest as to what may be around when visiting a location.

    Perhaps rail/crake, dowitcher, or even falcon (I spotted a Peregrine today and luckily got a photo to confirm ID, but may have had to report as falcon sp.).

    I prefer the cleaner look and just wondered about initial reactions.

    PS. I often include a sp. in my reports in the hope that someone else following may get a better view.


    Got it. I was just curious. I do prefer the cleaner look.

    Good on you for not always trying to ID a bird to species. It’s commendable when observers do that from time to time.

    • Like 1
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  3. 36 minutes ago, dragon49 said:

    I came to the same conclusion before having seen your reply.  I deleted the Tree Swallow observation and changed my sightings accordingly, which was to report two Barn Swallows and 28 swallow.sp.  I didn't bother uploading the bad picture to the swallow.sp section.  This was the right thing to do.  My count was accurate, but without good photo evidence, and with my not so good swallow-spotting field instincts, coupled with bad lighting making colors hard to discern in the field, I can't responsibly report anything else. 

    I know more about swallow visual clues from this exercise, so hopefully, next time in the field I see swallows and don't get good pictures, I'll be able to be more specific.

    Good work.

    • Thanks 1
  4. Why not just put the photo down as swallow sp.? Not everything needs to be identified to species, and in fact, not everything should be. The notion of putting things down just to see what the reviewer thinks and forcing them to make a call on your photo, is interesting. You have already been given some feedback on this forum, so why not heed that advice? 

    • Like 2
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  5. 48 minutes ago, Bird-Boys said:

    Why not young Western Gulls?

    Perhaps you are right, although I have never seen WEGU's with such clean and neat scaling on the uppers. Look at a few different examples of juvenile WEGUs and CAGUs. WEGUs typically never look this clean and pattered with wide white edging to mantle feathers. I think the bills of these birds are fairly dainty for WEGU, but I am troubled by the short primaries, which are much better for WEGU than CAGU. What are your thoughts?










    • Like 2
  6. 1 minute ago, floraphile said:

    This trip was one of those pre-birding-life excursions that in current times sow so much regret.  When I went back and watched video from the trip (including a whale-watching excursion out of Seattle) there were birds flying everywhere, with nary a comment from any of us spectators.  I'm sure our thoughts were:  "seagull, seagull, seagull..." [sic]. We were too busy raising kids then.  

    I know that pain. I traveled extensively in SE Asia and Eastern Europe before becoming a birder. Didn’t bring a camera either. Uuugh. 

    • Like 1
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  7. 20 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

    And many of these are likely mis-IDs. Some of the pics clearly show birds that are almost surely Canada Geese.

    • Like 2
  8. Indeed, this is a molting Red Phalarope. The feathers on the uppers are all gray, the bird's bill is stout (for a Phalaropus sp.), the base of the bill is yellow, and the feathers at the base of the bill are dark. The red also surrounds most of the neck and extends to the underparts of the bird.

    They are just starting to move trough the region in good numbers, so the timing of your observation is spot on.

    • Like 8
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