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Everything posted by sbutk

  1. Sorry I've been so lax in responding to this discussion. I pretty much had given up on finding a fix and switched over to using Audubon's free app (though I do occasionally still miss Merlin). Anyway, in case you're interested in pursuing Merlin, I'll share the most recent reply I'd received from their development team (which I obviously never pursued): [IF YOU HAPPEN TO HAVE SUCCESS getting the Merlin app to work again, though, I'd surely be interested in hearing about it. Thanks!] Merlin Support (Merlin Bird ID App) Oct 17, 12:12 PM EDT Hi Stephen, Sorry for the delay responding. We're still working on troubleshooting the Error -001 problem. It seems to happen any time Merlin loses connection, even if briefly--for example, if it is in the background and another process takes up most of the bandwidth, if internet is shaky, or if an antivirus software cuts off the download. Some people have had success with some basic download troubleshooting: Make sure you are connected to reliable internet connection Try downloading a smaller regional pack Keep Merlin in the foreground while the download and installation are taking place Keep the phone awake while the download is happening (just tap the screen occasionally). Clear the Download Manager's cache by following these instructions (from https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/7512202?hl=en): Clear cache & data from Download Manager On your Android phone or tablet, open your Settings app Settings and then Apps. At the top of the screen, tap More More and then Show system. Scroll down and tap Download Manager. Tap Storage and then Clear Cache and then Clear Data. Hopefully one of those steps may fix the issue for you. If not, please let me know and I'll keep you posted as we explore other potential causes and try to replicate the issue on our systems. Happy birding, Merlin Bird ID Technical Support
  2. Hi. This is the most appropriate forum I could find to post my query in, as it does pertain to what would at least be a *day* trip… Does anyone know of any online resource(s) that might be of use for keeping tabs on the degree of ice coverage on the lower Hudson River? As a birder, I’ve come to learn over the years that increased ice coverage tends to correlate to a greater number of Bald Eagle sightings. However, with this so far being an unusually warm winter – 50F on Christmas Day here! – I’m hoping to be able to make the most of my opportunities and decide *when* it might finally behoove me to jump in the car and make the trip. As always, any and all advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Steve
  3. Oops, I do stand corrected. Hadn't seen your post until after responding to Kevin. Thanks, that does look to be a perfect match, for both plumage and range. And the Life List creeps up another tick tonight... 😁
  4. Just a little surprised that the app would be off. They have the range being essentially a narrowing vertical band down the middle of North America. They are shown as "Uncommon" in southern Ontario (Niagara Falls region), though, so I suppose maybe this could be even more of a "stray", haha. Remains to be seen whether anyone else chimes in, though. Thanks for your swift response, though. I do believe you've lowered my record to having a response within just 5 minutes of posting! EDIT: I see now, you were agreeing with Snow Bunting. Thanks for your second!
  5. Hi. Shot this unfamiliar bird today in the parking lot of a hawkwatch in northern NJ. I found what seems to be a really close match with my Audubon app for Android, but the bird’s range seems to be off. Could this be a Clay-colored Sparrow? Thanks. P2490838er by sbutk, on Flickr P2490846er by sbutk, on Flickr
  6. No, I did mean Golden-crowned. Guess I just got over-reliant on looking for enough of a matching photo on my Audubon app and neglected to pay attention to the bird's range. Thanks for setting me straight!
  7. Looks like yet another new migrant out in the yard today. Can anyone confirm/refute my suspicion, before I go making it official? 😉 Thanks, Steve P2430171 by sbutk, on Flickr P2430176 by sbutk, on Flickr P2430179 by sbutk, on Flickr
  8. Thanks for the second. And thanks, too, for the link. Always tickled to be made aware of another birding resource! 👍
  9. I did count that as one of my possibilities, cool. Thank you both! 👍
  10. Hi, Photographed these birds in my yard this afternoon. I’ve employed both Audubon app for Android and been through my Peterson Field Guide for Eastern birds, and have yet to come across a definite match for this bird. Best guesses are some member of the Warbler, Flycatcher, or Vireo family. Must be a migrant species, because I don’t ever remember seeing one here in northern NJ before. Can anyone help me ID this bird? Thanks, Steve P2410820 by sbutk, on Flickr P2410830 by sbutk, on Flickr P2410834 by sbutk, on Flickr
  11. Cool, thanks! Makes for my 2nd addition to the Life List right from the yard today, along with Blue-headed Vireo. 👍
  12. Thanks! No way to be exactly sure of which, I guess (without lifting up the tail feathers, haha). 👍
  13. Hi, Photographed these birds in my yard this afternoon. Guessing they must be a migrating species, since I’ve never taken note of them before. My best guess is they are thrushes – most likely Hermit or Swainson’s, according to my Audubon app. Can anyone offer any opinions to help steer me in the right direction? Birds were seen in northern NJ. Thanks, Steve P2410374 (2) by sbutk, on Flickr P2410402 (2) by sbutk, on Flickr P2410403 (2) by sbutk, on Flickr P2410503 (2) by sbutk, on Flickr
  14. Hi. My suspicion is that these birds I saw in my backyard this afternoon are American Goldfinches, just perhaps not with the bright yellow [male] plumage that I’d recognize instantly. Are these perhaps females, immature birds, or males in seasonal plumage? Or, am I perhaps barking up the wrong tree entirely? Would greatly appreciate if anyone could help set me straight! Photos taken in northern NJ. Thanks, Steve P2410357 (2) by sbutk, on Flickr P2410435 (2) by sbutk, on Flickr P2410529 (2) by sbutk, on Flickr P2410548 (2) by sbutk, on Flickr P2410563 (2) by sbutk, on Flickr
  15. Is anyone else having this problem? I used to be able to [happily] use my Merlin bird ID app for Android with no problem. After a recent (8/31/19) forced update, however, my app is left with no bird packs installed (and thus rendered useless). I can't manually install any selected bird apps. And I've uninstalled/reinstalled the entire app; restarted my phone; and STILL the problem persists. I've already submitted my concern to the Merlin team, and they have assured me both that I'm not the only one to report this problem; and they're "working on it". ...That was months ago. (Yawn.) Wondering if any of my fellow birders has any ideas!
  16. Hi. I’m seeking some advice with regard to my still-in-the-works trip down to Cape May later this month… I’ve visited multiple years in the past, typically around the Columbus Day weekend, but so far have yet to venture much beyond the hawkwatch platform. This will be just an overnight, and at least [part of] one of those days will be spent at and around the hawkwatch. Lately I’ve had my curiosity piqued for exploring more of the Cape, though - with perhaps Cape May Meadows and HigbeeBeach being areas of interest. Can anyone offer any advice, tips, or insight into visiting either of those places? What time of day is likely best? I recently learned about the Morning Songbird Watch at Higbee, and I’m not so sure a pre-dawn visit (to catch the songbird migration in full force) is really in the cards for those in my group. Then again, what birder wouldn’t like to maximize his chances to expand the Life List?! Thanks in advance, for any & all replies! 🙂 -Steve
  17. Haha, thanks! Now the Nature photographer in me realizes how much room for improvement there is in that shot! 🤩
  18. ...And the Life List creeps up again, ever so slowly. Thanks! 😀
  19. Shot some photos of an unfamiliar bird in the yard this morning that I assume must be a migrant. Shots are through a screen, so unfortunately the results are incredibly lousy. Still, I’m wondering whether anyone might be able to offer an ID, based on size, shape or markings. Photos are from northern NJ. Thanks. P2360375 (2) by sbutk, on Flickr P2360374 (2) by sbutk, on Flickr P2360373 (2) by sbutk, on Flickr P2360372 (2) by sbutk, on Flickr P1360274 (2) by sbutk, on Flickr
  20. Haha. Modesty isn't a quality that's lost on us birders, that's for sure. ...You do make a good point, though!
  21. No. Not that show the birds any more clearly, anyway. I wouldn't be all that surprise if they weren't some of the same Dowitchers you and I were wrangling over in one of our previous discussions, just in different positions. So I will assume these guys are Short-billed Dowitchers. They're able to "tuck in" bills that are that long? Wow, color me impressed! 😁 Thank you both for your help!
  22. Hi again… One more sighting I’ve been curious about: These 3 birds in the bottom of the photo [from another birder’s camera, because the same scene came out clearer than on my own] look at first like they could be juvenile Laughing Gulls. But when I compare them to others in the photo - e.g. on the Left - these unidentified birds are smaller and lack the same black highlights on the tail. So I’m guessing at this point that they’re probably a different species. Any thoughts? DSC_3005er by sbutk, on Flickr
  23. Sorry, I unwittingly convinced both of us that 02 and 03 showed the same bird. Here are some additional angles of the unidentified bird in 02: 02a P2230473ze by sbutk, on Flickr 02b P2230476ze by sbutk, on Flickr Hoping it’s not going to turn out to be “just another gull”. I wouldn’t think so, with that beak. …Then again, I’ve been known to be wrong once or twice in my life. (Actually, a few dozen times on this forum, alone.)
  24. Hi. I’ve got one last set of photos here that I’m hoping to get confirmation on, all from my recent trip to Forsythe NWR in NJ. The first shot is quite apparently another crow. Another forum member and I are still undecided whether it looks more like an American or Fish Crow. The next 2 shots contain a Dowitchers (I’m still leaning Long-billed) on the left in 02 and rear in 03; and what appears to me to be a Yellowlegs [type?]. 03 is admittedly of terrible focus quality, but it was included here to show the color of the bird’s legs, which are hidden in the previous photo. The remaining photos [Again, sorry for the reeds; it was a windy day] all contain a number of small birds – look like Yellowlegs again, to me – that were hanging around with the larger Glossy Ibis. Any help, confirmations, or alternate suggestions would be most appreciated. Thanks! 01 P2230451 g Crow_e by sbutk, on Flickr 02 P2230474 g Dowitchers & Yellowlegs_e by sbutk, on Flickr 03 P2230431 g Dowitchers & Yellowlegs_e by sbutk, on Flickr 04 P2240627 by sbutk, on Flickr 05 P2240630 by sbutk, on Flickr 06 P2240664 by sbutk, on Flickr 07 P2240668 by sbutk, on Flickr 08 P2240685 by sbutk, on Flickr 09 P2240686 by sbutk, on Flickr 10 P2240688e by sbutk, on Flickr 11 P2240690e by sbutk, on Flickr
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