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Everything posted by millipede

  1. More birding woes... ha... Saw a bird going up and down in the dense brushy area just 20 feet from my window. Put my glasses on(had just woken up) and saw dark gray bird. Size, behavior, location all had me thinking empid. It's gloomy this morning so it wasn't as dark gray as it appeared. Got my binoculars on it for a few glimpses as it was fairly active. No wingbars... no empid... Was just wrong for any of those small flycatchers. Then I got a good full side view... though brief... and there was a pale yellowish near the vent area or understail, just along the side I could see this color back there. My only thought was colima warbler... which shouldn't be here, of course... but I couldn't think of anything else. Pulled out my guide only to see it wasn't in there. At least not mentioned in the index. This yellow was not the brighter buttery yellow of a YRWA, nor was it confined to the upper side. Facial markings, well there were none... just plain gray. What would be that plain, have a yellowish color back there at the back end, and not be a colima warbler? I don't even know why my mind went to that species so quickly. Maybe my brain retains more than I realize. I've never seen one and have not really studied them much. And... why is it that birds like this always disappear before you can get your camera? My camera was 2 feet away but, I lost the bird... I went outside a while later and used playback but had no responses. Of course my yard is so jungly in the front where the bird was seen that I stayed out back and to the side. Some day.... I'll build my dream house with a partial second floor and a flat roof over part of the first floor where I can set up chairs and such and bird without ticks and chiggers. HA
  2. I knew that... Just thought it was weird, in my Sibley's East it has a quick section on how to ID empids right in the middle of the pewees. any thoughts on the other flycatcher? or the other peep? I'm going to have a local guy look at it if he has time...
  3. I'm looking in my guide again... the short straight bill has me thinking semipalmated. Not sure why I was even thinking western now that I'm looking again. hmmm... But let's just throw a few more photos out to help...
  4. I will try to make a mental note of that. Any thoughts on the bird on the right? I'm thinking western and least are the only options now for that one and the bill seems short and straight for a least, so I'm leaning western. They all come through here certain times of year. If the hatchery had some of the better ponds drained I believe I would have seen more shorebirds but other than a couple killdeer, those two were it... which was surprising... and disappointing. Another thing I will try to make a mental note of. Good info. It's difficult to see the features of bird #1 but it would LOOK like the wing projection isn't that great which could make it something other than a pewee?
  5. NW Arkansas. Was a pretty good day. I led a field trip to a local lake and 6 people showed up. That was encouraging. And they all seemed to enjoy it. I left a couple flycatchers off my lists altogether but hope to add them in... and put shorebird sp for a couple shorebirds I'm uncertain of. 1. This was in the woods by a creek and was silent. I'm thinking my options are eastern-wood pewee or an empid(are pewees empids? They're listed right after the book mentions empidonax) Did have pewees vocalizing nearby. I'm used to seeing willow and alder in willows that are at least a bit more near the open than this location. That makes me want to lean pewee... another pose(flight) which probably doesn't help any... 2. This has to be an empid... This thing stayed on some barbed wire at the edge of a field, but near the road. I'm not used to seeing these away from trees. I seemed to have gotten a lot of pictures of this one... I think this one shows a good side view... most other pictures are also from the side but have the head turned different directions. 3. and 4. I will post more photos later if anyone wants them. I know I have some from closer up but I have some kids pressuring me for family game time. 🙂 I didn't think either had yellow legs. I will look at the other pictures later but I'm not wondering if the one on the right is just a least. The one on the left??? bairds? It seemed in the field and in some pics that the wing tips extend past the tail while at rest. Pretty much all the pictures I've looked at, it looks like there's a reddish color on the bill of the larger bird. That bird is very noticeably larger than the smaller one, even in pics when it's behind the smaller one. I'm thinking these are identifiable with these pics alone but just let me know and I'll add others.
  6. Sounds a little off for red-eyed to me... But for whatever reason, sound isn't very loud on my laptop... so I might not be hearing it well. I need to practice with those two more. There are some that are easy red-eyed for me... others, not so much. Was birding with a VERY good birder once and we had a philadelphia(saw and heard) and he described the difference in sounds. My memory isn't all that great but, I remember him saying that the philadelphia will have more broken up or what I'd call staccato kind of sounds to it. I don't know if I am remembering that correctly but that's what I got out of it. I've heard some that sort of fit that and they ended up being red-eyed. Other times I can hear a definite difference and be right when I call it philadelphia. They're frustrating though. Following this conversation in case any details are explained that will help me more. 🙂 Hearing someone's description is sometimes better than just listening to a few recordings because a couple recordings and sound TOO much alike to tell apart, until you start to pick up the little differences. Kind of like the visiual ID of some birds... They all look the same until you start looking at the leg color or if the wings extend past the tail etc etc...
  7. That's what I was thinking. I think what looks like blue is just, it's not a great photo... this is zoomed/cropped way in. As I said, it was a long distance... like 500 to 1000 feet away or more. The shape and behavior all screamed flycatcher to me. Well, in the pictures. I couldn't even pick that up in my binoculars it was so far. I want to make it an olive-sided... but I wont. 🙂 Speaking of... if I add this to my eBird checklist, is there an option that covers olive-sided flycatcher/eastern wood pewee? I'm bad with families...
  8. Here's my eBird checklist. I JUST got a couple pictures up. https://ebird.org/checklist/S109612998
  9. from a distance, spotted and solitary can be a little tough to separate... behavior can be similar... flight, flushed from one side of a pond to another, is similar. In flight, the spotted has white down the wings and the solitary does not. The spotted has a good eye-line while the solitary has an eye-ring... the solitary can also have something of a two-toned bill... something I've not noticed on yellowlegs. Up close I'm finding them easy but at a distance it takes a bit more effort. All that to say I concur... solitary.
  10. While I'm at it... this hummingbird from Tulsa. Are the light/white spots on the throat normal? Just from being puffed up?
  11. NW Arkansas yesterday First is actually from Tulsa county somewhere yesterday... I was driving home from my trip there and thought MAYBE kites. Pulled into a random parking lot to look. So, here's the silhouette with a description as well. When I got looks, it seemed to have the right shape and all... the wings... part dark, part light like you'd see on a MIKI or a swainson's hawk... but this doesn't look like a buteo to me at all. I both love and hate having only one species of hummingbird here. Outside of some of them being fairly similar, they also don't sit still often. The basic idea is if I see one, it's a ruby-throated... But sometimes they look odd to me. This one had a dark brick like color on the sides... Didn't get good pictures. Why don't they ever turn and pose when you ask them to??? Oh yeah, they get better... This one, I'd have to guess was half a mile away or more... or not... long distance though. It was flying way off up above the tree line. At first I was thinking purple martin based on how it LOOKED like it was flying. Then it landed on the tree... and just sat there. When I looked at the pics I realized, I was definitely off there. Has a good flycatcher/pewee look to it. Based on it being perched way up on to top of bare branches it has me thinking about olive-sided flycatchers. But I'm not sure if that can be discerned by this pic and the behavior or not. and last... a thrush... swainson's are here now. Gray-cheeked are here, to a lesser degree... I wanted to make it a gray-cheeked because I couldn't see the eye-ring and it was not very brown... but, this was at least 200 feet away so, not sure what kind of details I could pick up with the binocs that way... and the pic obviously didn't.
  12. you beat me to it... I was looking and I was thinking, just the yellow and particular spotting/streaking looked like magnolia but I went to look at the warbler guide and noticed the same thing about the tail and I wanted to pat myself on the back for getting it right. ha anyway... second magnolia. Cool bird. I don't get to see those very often so I always enjoy them.
  13. So, someone in the other thread(I wont mention names) suggested I not look at places that list rare bird alerts because it might cause me anxiety... The only real anxiety is the should I shouldn't I when something is in-between nearby and way too far. But if I stopped looking, I'd miss out for sure. Yesterday on the OKBIRDS email list I caught wind of a limpkin in Tulsa... that's 80 to 90 minutes away depending on which route I take, etc... I asked about it, watched reports... had my kids at some appointments and had to wait til their mother picked two of them up... but then, off I went. Left NW Arkansas just before 4PM... Long drive... 80mph speed limit for a short bit of it... a toll... then, walking down the wrong trail when we got there. But, it was there. It was a cool place... mowhawk park/ oxley nature trails. Found a yellow-crowned night heron not far off the trail(the wrong trail) and got some photos... prothonotary warblers are always a treat... And that limpkin... at first it was just cleaning itself... eventually, it began to hunt. At times it was within 50 to 60 feet of where I was sitting. It amazes me how many people chase "rare" birds even if they're not birders. An older couple walked up and the guy asked about the limpit. I asked "limpkin?" and he said limpit again. So I asked "LIMPKIN" a little more clearly(I think he was hard of hearing) and he said he wasn't a birder. It took several minutes for me to point the bird out, while it wasn't more than 70 feet away, in the open but at the bank so it blended in some. Anyway... lots of people went to see it... reports indicate it is still there today. Nice life bird if you ask me. 🙂 Now if one would just stop by this county... HA.
  14. As of today, the brown booby is still being reported up there... I would be happier if it had moved on... because not I'm still thinking... should I? Could I???? And about 5+ hours from here, in Arkansas... there's a limpkin right now. Will the world still be here once my kids all move out? Will my kids ever all move out? HA... I love my kids and, I choose them over the birds, most of the time... For now, dropping things to go 4 or 5 hours is just a bit tricky. Why can't people tell those birds to head over this way??? a couple hours closer? Is that too much to ask? HA
  15. I'll throw a couple of too easy confirmations in with a couple others and some other thoughts... First an easy one... American Bittern... I've only ever seen one before... this time, I was driving down a road near the hatchery that is often a good road. I wasn't even going to make a checklist til I saw this at the edge of a farm pond. While staring, and hanging out my sun/moon roof to get better pics, I then heard a bobolink singing... and just down the road, three upland sandpipers. Was pretty cool Back at the hatchery just before this... I was there to see a black-necked stilt... something that doesn't show up in these parts often. Turned out to be a pair... Here are some, what I believe to be yellowlegs... I'm having a hard time judging the bill length from these not so great pics. I feel like with yellowlegs, sometimes it's easy... real easy... and then sometimes, I feel I could go either way. One pic is next to the stilt which gives a little bit of a size comparison. While taking some photos of a single avocet, some peeps flew... Lousy pics... I cropped it to the two that show up best in the pic. Maybe unidentifiable. I did have two least sandpipers that were easy enough to pick up with the leg color... but, these here are flying and not lit well. Last is a question about phalaropes. These were flying almost the whole time I observed them. At one point they got REAL close, almost flew straight at me. I had my binoculars at my eyes at that point. If I switched to the camera I would have gotten some awesome views and perhaps decent pics but, I decided that 1. if I switched what I was holding, they'd switch course sooner and they were headed straight at me and 2. I might as well enjoy this direct flight towards me... I REALLY want to get better pictures all the time but sometimes you just have to enjoy the moment. 🙂 Anyway... the question......... There are two that are lighter, one in particular, and I'm wondering if I'm reading the guides correctly that it's just an age thing. Side note... When I first saw these, their necks and legs are all pulled in so tight, I thought I was watching semipalmated plovers fly around. But, that color was all wrong... had to be phalaropes... Never saw them flying like this before so it was a neat experience...
  16. I've tried looking and couldn't seem to find where they were stored. If I find any motivation to, I'll look again. Don't feel like it right now. ha. And someone on the list replied suggesting Dickcissel as well... such a weird sound though... Side note... I wish they'd change the name of that bird. Not just because of the 4 letter code either... it's just a weird word that I have to think about how to spell when I'm typing it out... and feels weird to say. HA.
  17. Wow, strong words about Sibley... ha... I find it interesting... and not in a bad judgey way. I will say, I feel every field guide has drawbacks... they say the drawings are better than pictures for various reasons but, they also have their limitations. Even using other sources, the images for black-headed have birds with more streaking than the one I had. And you can't really see from these side views how unstreaked the front of the chest appeared. I really thought it had more color than this as well. I was sitting in my room and saw it, looked at it through the binoculars... then ran to the living room with the binoculars and camera to get these shots. And the coloration seems to vary a lot as well in the images I've looked at even online. For now I will definitely always be asking for second opinions on these. And I will pay more attention to the bill in the future. That one seems fairly consistent with all the images I've looked at. Even Sibley's shows a difference, they just don't mention it. This is how I learn. I can't, for whatever reason, just sit and study a guide and remember everything. I have to see and discuss the birds to get some of those details to stick... 🙂 It does not help at all that some of them are just tricky for a lot of people.
  18. I would like to argue that these may not be the best things to go by either. The bird, from the front, was more orangish than can be seen in my photos... and I saw no streaking at all on the front... this bird is less streaky than some black-headed grosbeak pictures I've seen. The bill... I will have to study that but it sounds like it could be useful... though, I have not seen that mentioned in the field guides... Side note. I HATE when birds are this similar... it's just not nice. :0
  19. Really? Sibley's East, their newest one, shows a very distinct difference in the underwing color even in females. And... bummer. I was already depressed today... the idea of a new life bird didn 't perk me up a whole lot but the let down here now is bigger than it normally would be. Depression and anxiety and birding can really be a pain. 😕
  20. I was thinking the pattern sounded like a dickcissel but it's so buzzy... I was combining dickcissel and something like an indigo bunting in my head. HA... Android...
  21. I'm often double checking those female grosbeaks... this one was at the feeder, up close... and almost no streaking... I got a bunch of pictures, thankfully... and, I'm leaning even more towards black-headed now... The under side of the wings is YELLOW... From the head on direction I couldn't even see any streaking... Apparently I didn't get any pictures at that angle but got good looks in the binoculars.
  22. I saw this conversation on the AR Bird listserv... so I looked at the eBird report and played the file... it's weird. ebird shows it was a few days ago in Arkansas... I'm mixing species in my head to come up with something similar... but rather than rack my brain I thought I'd see what you all think... https://ebird.org/checklist/S108412383 Side note... is there an easy way to get recordings from Merlin off your phone? I've found I can email the smaller ones to myself but larger files it says NO... Heard something odd in my yard the other day... akin to a northern waterthrush or connecticut warbler type call... I don't even remember which day/file it was so I'll have to play them one by one and hope I hear it again. ugh... I don't want to. HA
  23. Yes, that's the northern. Looking at pics, maybe it's a head posture thing but I saw one pic of a Louisiana that looked like that but, this one, it looks pretty even in all the pictures... heavily streaked(which may or may not be reliable) and that head on pic, it looks kind of dirty enough. I feel confident calling it a northern.
  24. as of yesterday, the booby is still there. Would be a very cool lifer... but, how badly do I want to drive almost 4 hours????? Ack... this is still torturing me. On the upside... another good day yesterday. Someone reported a black-necked stilt at the local fish hatchery, about 30 minutes from here. So, I went. I've seen them twice before but never in this county. Exciting enough there were other people there chasing it. Only one was reported but there were two there... a male and a female. Then I had 7 wilson's phalaropes fly by me... I thought they were plovers at first, they looked so tiny in flight with their neck and legs pulled in. Weird... just weird.... but awesome. Then an american avocet... Good birds there... then a drive down a nearby road and I almost didn't make a checklist... then, I saw a bittern... just the neck and head... frozen. I watched it for a while and got some pictures... then, I heard bobolinks... further down the road were three upland sandpipers. All good birds I wasn't expecting. No lifers but still good birding.
  25. I have heard(or read) stories of black vultures(I think it was black vultures that are guilty of this) showing up when calves are born and killing the young. I don't remember the stories and/or maybe I didn't study them in depth... I remember some people acting like the vultures are evil and go and kill cows but I always figured they show up for the after birth and if the young cow is still bloody enough it might get picked on... The reason I ask... a friend reached out to me with the following... This behavior sounds a little troubling... Maybe the vulture knows a birth is coming soon. I had another thought just now... maybe there's a vulture nest nearby and it's being defensive? Either way, it sounds like a threat to the goats...
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