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Everything posted by kjsmith

  1. 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
  2. Oh man!! I totally missed that one! Thanks SO MUCH, new bird for the garden.
  3. 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
  4. Very nice, many thanks! Greater yellowlegs are common enough at Galveston, this is a bit far inland so a good catch!
  5. All, This morning in the west Houston area I noted what I think may be a Wilson's snipe flying overhead. But as I review the photos I begin to have my doubts. The bird's head is distinctly dark and its bill may not be long enough. Additionally, the bill appears to be slightly upturned. Can anybody give a helping hand here? 10,000 thanks in advance, Kevin
  6. All, This morning in west Houston TX I saw and photographed an interesting bird that I cannot figure out. It appears basically grey/black with a white collar, possible white below its eyes and a longish sharp bill. Just not sure what this is! Is there anybody out there who can nail an ID on this one? 10,000 thanks in advance. Kevin
  7. All, Here in west Houston, TX today I had a ringer in my garden. In addition to my regular Rufous hummer a grey/green hummingbird made a visit. I am assuming this is a late season Ruby throated but it just seems too dull, too grey. Anybody have a better ID? 10,000 thanks in advance, Kevin
  8. All, On a recent visit to the Puget Sound I photographed some Alcids while riding a Seattle Ferry. I am not really very familiar with these birds and could use some help with the ID. This is post 2 of two. 10,000 thanks in advance! Kevin
  9. All, On a recent visit to the Puget Sound I photographed some Alcids while riding a Seattle Ferry. I am not really very familiar with these birds and could use some help with the ID. This is post 1 of two. 10,000 thanks in advance! Kevin
  10. All, On a recent visit to Seattle I photographed an interesting duck on Lake Union. I am at a loss as I cannot find anything similar in my Sibley. It has a longish black bill, widgeon-shaped head with dark tan on the top of the head down to its neck and light tan below. It has white wingtips and white on its othjerwise black tail. In flight it has a prominent white patch on its secondaries. Any help here will be greatly appreciated! 10,000 thanks ion advance. Kevin
  11. Many thanks yet again for all who viewed and especially for the answers!
  12. All, This morning I caught a flight of three long-billed / large birds flying over the garden. I am pretty sure these are Wilson's Snipes but I would like some confirmation if possible. They have the stubby body/long bill, pointed wings, light belly and if you look closely you can also just see the black bars on their flanks. 10,000 thanks in advance, Kevin
  13. Tanager, Thanks for your thoughts on this.. I know it is a tough one. I will be seeking "local expert" advice on this one!
  14. Note the dark ear patch bordered above AND below, tapering back to a point at the back of its head. Darker upper bill, streaked back. This can only be a Black-headed Grosbeak.
  15. All, This morning fairly early I caught three ducks flying over my garden in west Houston suburb of Katy. The light was not really easy as the sun was still quite low casting a reddish feel on everything. Three mostly grey-brown ducks with little in the way of distinctive patterns, possible immatures. One thing I do note is a light area at the base of the bills. Suggestive of Blue-wing Teal or Greater Scaup. Everything else is trouble and/or a mystery to me! If any experienced duck observers are out there, can you give me a hand?! 10,000 thanks in advance. Kevin
  16. All, This morning I caught an egret flying over my garden. Please vies the attached photos. I am a bit confused on this bird, at first I assumed it to be a Snowy Egret based on the yellow feet alone. On reviewing the photos I note that it also has brown on its neck, but on the sides, not on bottom as would be expected with a Cattle egret. The bill is also quite long and orange. Cattle egret should have a short bill and a Snowy should have a black bill. None fit. The wing primaries are not very white but more a dusty grey. All the above appears to favor a Tricolored Egret. Can anyone conform this? 10,000 thanks in advance, Kevin
  17. That is my idea as well, thanks much. K
  18. All, Yesterday I noted a small flycatcher in the garden, west Houston TX. I managed to capture a couple photos, somewhat blurry but show the plumage patterns and colors well. It is an Empidonax and I was not recording so I cannot give a vocalization. Is there any possibility to ID this little chap? Kevin
  19. I need to add another photo, its MUCH better quality!
  20. All, Another mystery from west Houston. I caught this bird flying overhead and managed a few photos. Its a medium-size bird with a dark cap from just below its eyes, stocky bill, dusky throat, light belly, dark tail with white tip. Can anybody help me here? Kevin
  21. All, Today in my west Houston garden I photographed a bird which I suspect is an Eastern peewee that has been hanging around for about a week. Looking at the photos I am not 100% sure. Can anyone take a look and confirm or provide a better ID? 10,000 thanks in advance. Kevin
  22. Thank you SO MUCH, it had me stumped. This morning the rains are drifting to the east, possible the bird got caught onshore and has been moving with the wind.
  23. I need to add one additional photo as it gives more body detail. The bird has a light belly/breast with a dark upper breast and throat.
  24. All, This morning in the Houston drizzle and rain I managed to photograph a bird passing. At the time I thought maybe it was a small heron but now I am sure it is not. The overcast sky creates a silhouette so it is hard to say, but if anyone can help I will be very grateful indeed. 10,000 thanks in advance. Kevin
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