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Bee_ keeper

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Everything posted by Bee_ keeper

  1. Seems like all the gracks around here are bruisers, so would really like to confirm these are all Boat-taileds... They may or may not be the same bird(s) in each pic Along south shore Long Island this weekend. Thank you.
  2. Also wanted to add... if my destination is somewhere general, like 'Cape May' or 'Orlando' or 'The White Mountains of NH', and I am trying to shoehorn birding into the trip, I always check out the official (and unofficial) travel websites for the locations. They often mention birding and wildlife viewing options in the things to do section that are more 'touristy'. This way everyone enjoys it and my travel companions are more easily convinced that it won't end up being a slogfest through the mud?.
  3. Since I saw my first Long-tailed last year, I've grown very fond of these very striking sea ducks. I have seen them contentedly bobbing up and down like corks in the roughest of winter surf along the south shore of Long Island - definitely not my grandma's mallards?
  4. I don't know what it will take for me to 'get' a Belted Kingfisher. I'm only surrounded by water on all sides here; just can't get it. Twice I've gotten flashing glimpses of stocky blue and white along waterways, and knew it was the kingfisher, but both times was too slow to get a satisfying look. Not going to list it until I see the whites of its eyes ? Also owls. The only legit field sightings I've had have been the Snowy, (and a totally fluky sighting of a Barn owl), and that was a specific 'mission' to see them.
  5. If I’m going to a specific place, like a NWR or state park, I like to check the website before I go. Especially if I have never been there before. To get the lay of the land, so to speak, like trail options and seasonal info for example. Sometimes there are online trail maps and they can describe exactly what to expect, like a boardwalk marsh trail or dirt paths or whether pets are allowed, etc etc. I also like to check the local Audubon websites for the location I'm headed. They often list their field trips, and they are usually to the hottest of hotspots. They also usually give succinct directions and even specifically where within the location is the ideal place to park and bird. Have a wonderful time!
  6. Thank you, HamRHead, they are such beautiful little ducks! And they have eluded me up until this sighting.
  7. Thanks hbvol50, I think/hope so too. Both lifers. Gosh I feel kind of guilty listing 2 year old sightings..
  8. These pictures were taken two years ago, late August, near Bar Harbor, Maine. At the time they seemed too nondescript and ‘Mallard-y’ for me to even attempt. But now I’m really interested to know for sure what they were. 1st photo – pair sitting next to a small lake, the touches of color around the wings and the whitish eye suggest these might be Wood Ducks? 2nd photo - these were in the ocean, along the shoreline. Again, at the time they looked totally nondescript to me, but after zooming the photo a bit, their head and bill shape are pretty aggressively angular, and they’re clearly stocky ducks. Which led me to the eiders, specifically female or young Common Eider? Thanks all for help.
  9. Possibly Scarlet Tanager? But wait for confirmation.
  10. Check out Gray Jay esp. juvenile plumage? Although size is off.
  11. At this link is a great close-up photo of a coot's feet; I would say the coot suggestion is right on the money https://www.audubon.org/news/better-know-bird-american-coot-and-its-wonderfully-weird-feet
  12. I view it as another intriguing tool/toy in the birding goodie bag. And obviously it will be utilized and appreciated by many. There are so many people browsing and using cellphone apps already; if they can find a functional app that gets them interested in birds and ID’ing them that’s great. It’s similar to debating whether electronic synthesizers are ruining music. They’re not really ruining anything, they’re just adding a new dimension to the music scene. If you are an aficionado of the classical guitar or the banjo, for example, you may enjoy the new sounds but also feel some disappointment if you sense loss of appreciation in your craft. I think we can all relate to that. I also understand what you’re alluding to in the future, if we let AI get so ‘smart’ that we let it take charge of all decision-making – philosophical and moral decisions too. I know the race is on to try and endow AI with not just measured intelligence but with nuance, conscience and wisdom too. And I totally agree with Charlie stipulating that it’s not fears per se, it’s a realization that there will be downsides or tradeoffs to ‘progress’; there always will be. And try to recognize and distinguish (or at least acknowledge) these nuances, so the baby doesn’t get thrown out with the bath water. Interesting discussion!
  13. They both look like juveniles too, which gives them quite a different appearance than an adult cardinal and starling.
  14. Incidentally, I was looking at eBird for these guys and it looks like most of the sightings for Aug-Sept are still more up north. But there is actually sort of a funnel shape to the range map, with most of the southerly sightings occurring along the coast. They're beautiful birds. I saw my first this last spring, a bunch of males in full breeding plumage staking out their territory. Unmistakable in that plumage. I don't think I'd be able to call one in the field right now unless I was expecting to see them! They are definitely not common on Long Island, not even in migration, showing up here and there along the coasts. There's one local state park here that I know of that is restoring grasslands, hoping to coax more of them. They've had quite a few sightings the last month.
  15. The bit of white might be a stray or loosening or molting down feather or a touch of leucism.
  16. I would agree with Lesser. Its back looks quite dark but it seems to be the bird's own shadow casting shade. Also the yellow legs would suggest Lesser.
  17. I've got a large Elderberry shrub out back and when those berries ripen in mid/late August it's like the last hurrah for summer here. Lots of Robins, Mockingbirds, Catbirds, and Orioles until they strip the shrub bare; then they're gone. Right now I have a big patch of ripening sunflowers and other perennials that attracts the goldfinches non-stop. Today there was a pretty orange-ish cardinal that I haven't noticed before. Some grosbeaks would be awesome but very unlikely - have seen them only once, a pair of Rose-breasted, in the spring, years ago.... She's got a cool hairdo too..
  18. Thank you. I've come across some sources with conflicting info, such as juvenile leg color can be variable and eyebrow means semi, so I'm not too confident in my own skills yet. Wish the beaks were in the pic. Next time I'll watch them more closely... this little flock was very cooperative!
  19. This forum has got even me attempting peeps.. Among a small flock of what I guessed to be Semipalmated's; would the bird on the lower right be a juvenile or a Least? (Jamaica Bay, NYC yesterday)
  20. Thank you both, for the id tips as well. My house finches are always all very drab looking; for some reason this bird had a brighter, buffier appearance and it got me fantasizing.
  21. Saw this bird eating juniper berries in my Long Island yard; originally thought House Finch... then possibly a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.. but studying the photos (they are very zoomed in and not good) I'm wondering if this might be a female or immature Purple Finch??
  22. Yes - if I'm right - they look like a pair of Northern Bobwhites, M & F.
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