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    west Houston, TX

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  1. All, This morning in Houston's western suburb of Katy I spotted a Waterthrush and I am stressing between Northern and Lousiana. The light was low and it was difficult to get a show without motion blur. Its flanks appear contrasty, white'ish no pinkish chamois that I can tell. I lean to Northern, but am unsure. Can anyone help with this ID please. 10,000 thanks in advance. Kevin
  2. All, This morning in Houston's western suburb of Katy I spotted a pair of Cormorants flying over my house. I managed to squeeze off a few photos before they passed behine a tree. I normally expect to see around here either Neotropic or Double-crested. The head markings of these birds do not seem to fit either, especially the white patch on ther top back of their heads. Can anyone help with this ID please. 10,000 thanks in advance. Kevin
  3. All, I saw an interesting egret flying over my west Houston home this morning. I see Cattle egrets most mornings and I had assumed this was just another. On looking at the photos it just appears to be too slim with too long wings compared to what I am accustomed to. Nor does it have the tan coloration below its neck. On the other hand the yellow bill, black legs/feet, and shortish neck argue that Cattle is the only possibility. Can anyone confirm this? 10,000 thanks in advance. Kevin
  4. All, I am in west Houston TX and saw and photographed an interesting hawk today that has me at a loss. It has a dark head, Striped wings, and a banded tail (juvenile bird?). I would imagine its a Cooper were it not for the dark head. Otherwise I am unsure, head does not appear "large" enough for a Harrier. Any experienced raptor observers to help me? 10,000 thanks in advance! Kevin
  5. All, This morning I saw a hawk fly overhead, landing in a tree nor far from me. I got several good photos of the bird but am stressing over the ID. It is a juvenile with plumage I am not very used to. When flying overhead I noted it to have shortish wings. This and the photos make me think it may be a juvenile Cooper. Can anyone help confirm and/or set me straight?! 10,000 thanks in advance! Kevin
  6. Michael, Thank you for your reply. Not sure why but there appears always to be a few juveniles around down in Galveston, so why not here too. In any case, there can be no doubt that this individual is a juvi. K
  7. All, This morning I observed a Tern flying south over Katy TX, a west suburb of Houston. The bird is a juvenile with a strong black cap and white forehead. It has a fairly thin black bill all suggestive of a Common tern. I look for but cannot find dark patch at the "wrist" but the light may prevent this. Other terns, Sandwich (has no light tip to bill) or Forsters (black cap covering head) seem to be ruled out. Can any experts confirm this for me? 10,000 thanks in advance! Kevin
  8. All, Yesterday here in west Houston TX I saw and photographed a thrush that I considered a Hermit thrush. eBird seemed to hiccup on this. Just for fun I ran the photos through Merlin and turfed up Swainson's, Hermit, and Grey-cheeked, all for the same bird. Seems to be a non-trivial matter these thrushes! Can anyone give me an ID and some pointers on what field marks exactly distinguish this bird? 10,000 thanks in advance! Kevin
  9. All, This morning as I was birding in garden in West Houston / Katy I saw what I think is a small heron fly over. I got a few photos of the bird, it is overall grey with a largish head and stubby bill. The neck does not appear folded. So, i am no longer certain even that it is a heron. Can anybody provide an ID and some insight as to what I should be looking at?! 10,000 thanks in advance, Kevin
  10. All, I have had a Selasaphorus hummingbird visiting my feeders the last couple days. Today I finally managed a couple photos which capture the retrices. R5 appears rather narrow but it is hard for me to be certain if it is enough so to be considered an Allen's. Are there any sharp-eyed hummer experts online who can offer a clue? Note the photos attached. 10,000 thanks in advance. Kevin
  11. All, I had a Cormorant pass over my west Houston garden this morning am I am wondering if I am correct in my ID Neotropic based in its long tail. As I look at the photos I am beginning to wonder if its somewhat skinny neck may indicate an Anhinga instead. Its a long shot I suppose but I would like to solicit your opinions here. 10,000 thanks in advance. Kevin
  12. Oh man!! I totally missed that one! Thanks SO MUCH, new bird for the garden.
  13. All, This morning in my west Houston / Katy garden I had an unusual visiting winter sparrow. I am unused to these and I hesitate between a Vesper versus a Song sparrow. The white malar stripe appears to be longer running to behind its cheek suggesting a Vesper, also suggested by the darker coloration of the breast stripes. Still, I suspect a Song sparrow may be more common and coloration can be quite variable. So, can anybody clear this up for me? Or suggest a better alternative? 10,000 thanks in advance! Kevin
  14. Very nice, many thanks! Greater yellowlegs are common enough at Galveston, this is a bit far inland so a good catch!
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