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Everything posted by millipede

  1. I emailed a few people about it this morning. The eBird reviewer got back to me and said it was a common loon. Someone later emailed me with more info... The reviewer's comment was short and it was right as I was about to pull out of the driveway. I decided that since I was already on my way, I might as well still go. I didn't find any loon there but, a surprise cinnamon teal... My second ever and MUCH better views than the first time I saw one(although, the first time might have been a pair)
  2. The checklist says 7PM... I wish people knew how to use eBird better... because the pic says they saw it around noon. We had thunderstorms overnight... still raining today... this is about 30 minutes or so from here and, IF they ID'd the bird correctly, I'm going to get wet and go looking. I have kids coming home from their mom's in about 45 minutes... I have an appointment here in town 4 hours later so the timing isn't great and, the weather is bad... but, common loon is the only one on my life list so I would NEED to chase anything else. Over in Oklahoma there's a HUGE lake that gets a few extra loon species every year but I have not gone yet. I'd want to go when other birders were going... They tell me you almost always need a spotting scope(I have one but, it's CHEAP) and the wind has to be completely calm. Man I was not planning on any birding today...
  3. Not my photos or checklist but I'm asking for a reason... and, asap please. 🙂 https://ebird.org/checklist/S106668314 The quality of the photos are making it hard for me to tell, especially since it's non-breeding plumage...
  4. apparently this swainson's hawk knows cursive...
  5. That red-tailed just looked the way it does in the pic. I watched it circle and got a picture just because of that pattern on it. For the sparrows... there's a LITTLE streaking on the sides of the breast, which is why I was probably trying to make it a lincoln's in the field. But even there, the more I looked at it, swamp was the best I could guess at the time. The other two... The eyeline was looking wrong for either chipping or american tree... but I wouldn't have considered swamp. I'm not used to seeing them with such bold caps here... they REALLY stood out. And then, I wasn't used to seeing them out in the open behaving the way there were. Around the edges of a creek, flycatching, poking along the gravel bar of the creek... with me standing there. They're usually more their duller winter colors and usually deep in the brush hiding. Just didn't have swamp sparrow on my mind at all.
  6. Want to check some ID's from today. Had a single shovelor and some blue-winged teal... Some people in a canoe scared them eventually... I wish I could get the town to rope off part of the lake at least during migration... Looking at pictures later, this one duck looked a little off to be teal... gives me a wigeon feel... Is this normal for a vulture? When I saw this sitting in a tree, it looked odd. Then through the binoculars, the colors reminded me of the colors on a harris's hawk. When I got closer I could see a little vulture to it but, I really don't remember seeing one look this color. I don't know if it was just the lighting... was mid-day so it wasn't low sun, the kind that would normally skew colors. The head looked funny too... Looking at pictures, this still looks very weird to me. Then here's a RTHA that I just thought had an interesting pattern on the back... Then the sparrows..... Lincoln's? in the field that's what I thought... then, I wasn't sure. Didn't see the color I wanted to... The next sparrows are not in any order... There were at least two birds here that may have both been chipping sparrows. It SEEMED like one had a longer tail than the other... which one, I don't know. I thought I saw a reddish/brown line instead of black in the pics on one(eyeline) and there's a definite spot on the breast on one but, I've seen spots on the breasts of other sparrows where, at least sometimes, it was just the feathers being misplaced or something, I believe. I want to make it a tree sparrow but I just don't think the bill is quite right... In the field I felt I saw colors that COULD work for a tree sparrow but, the shape of the bill seemed wrong. was hard to get a good look... would have been nice if they would have hopped closer and just sat still to pose. HA... one was flycatching at one point... Kind of an odd looking eyeline... I don't know which ones are which, meaning I couldn't say 3 pics are of one bird and the rest of the other... but I don't know there's two different birds in these pics.
  7. I'm having a hard time picturing a plover hopping in a puddle in a parking lot. Sparrows and other songbirds... but, one that would resemble a plover in any way, I can't think of anything... Too bad you couldn't get a picture. Even a lousy cell phone picture can be useful at times.
  8. Is this, maybe, just a red-tailed? I don't remember looking at a bird thinking "what's that" when I got photos... and, this was just an hour or so ago. I know earlier(before this photo for sure) I had a swainson's hawk... and a red-tailed and an osprey... Later saw a broad-winged... Didn't get a picture of that... was way up high and lost sight of it after grabbing the camera...
  9. Thanks. I will leave it as hawk sp. It REALLY gave me a falcon feel when I viewed it through binoculars and the high pitched whistles were close... but, broad-winged would make sense since I've been seeing a few anyway. The call didn't sound like the typical broad-winged but I can say with quite a bit of certainty it wasn't the call of red-tailed, red-shouldered, sharp-shinned, or cooper's. This would all pretty strongly leave it with broad-winged but for eBird I'll still leave it as hawp sp. 🙂 can you expand on that any? I can't explain why it looked like a falcon to me but I can say that I was viewing it through binoculars before I even had my camera on... so, angle and posture changed in that time. I can see things being a little easier if this was directly below but, at an angle... and given that all birds change their form while flying... could you be certain with such a lousy photo?
  10. Thanks. Sometimes I feel like I'm learning a little... 🙂 Forgot to add... other than the shape being wrong for an accipiter... this bird sat in a tree for a while with the songbirds not being too bothered. If it were an accipiter my yard would have been quiet and the birds near it would have either flown or been frozen.
  11. I really hate that birds can be variable... With that said, I was surprised that there were multiple comments on this being a tricky bird. This is probably based on what I see here, not taking into consideration the variation seen outside this area. I'm in NW Arkansas, not toooooo far from this. LOTS and LOTS of song sparrows here in winter. I can't see song sparrow here if I try. Again, that's based on the typical song sparrow of this area. This bird is grayer on the back than a typical song sparrow in this area would be. I can't pick up the buffy color on the malar but it is pretty noticeable on part of the breast in the first pic as well as the last one. In the field I would not have considered song at all for this bird. There are many REALLY good birders that are aging and losing their hearing and vision... it's frustrating to some extent at times... they know 100 times more than I do but, I've seen some interesting calls to say the least. I argued with a lady about an eagle. Asked her to get her camera on it right away. She looked through her binoculars and said it was a vluture. I told her to take some pictures, it was not. She explained what she didn't see that would be on a bald eagle... so, it was a vulture. I said NO, it's not a vulture. My son who's not quite a birder could see that. One of the most well known birders in this area once Id'd a fall warbler that shouldn't have been here, without binoculars or camera... one of those warblers that would be fairly plain and looked a bit like yrwa... but, he's an expert so people listened and respected. I picked out a pileated woodpecker while talking with him once.. Just seeing the size and flight made it easy, without binoculars. I mentioned it... he looked, had to get his binoculars on it and said "I wouldn't have picked up on that." Sorry, rambling. All that is to say, those reputable birders sometimes struggle. And looking at pictures it can depend on what devices people are looking at... the back of the camera, tiny screen, even zoomed in can be difficult... on a phone looking at this thread, I'm sure would be difficult. I'm on a laptop and can still zoom in and the colors I see just all fit lincoln's very well. But I'm not an expert 🙂 I'm halfway decent at what I get myself familiar with... plenty of song sparrows in this area... put me in front of some on the coasts and I'll probably be scratching my head a bit.
  12. This is a question of my judgement/ID skills... (one of these days I need to REALLY actually study these things) Had a hawk fly a few days ago. Legs looked a little skinny but not a tiny bird(I know the tree it was sitting on quite well) so I knew it wasn't ssha. Looked a little too bulky to be an accipiter at all... tail too short as well. Definitely not RTHA, RSHA is common here but, didn't look right. The young bird streaks seemed to be going away and some more color coming in that didn't match rsha or coha... and, it's thicker up high more like a bib? so, I was thinking broad-winged? Those are easier for me to ID in flight looking for the thick tail bands and trailing dark outline to the wings... I could only think broad-winged at that point so I think I left it as hawk sp. but a little later I walked down the street and, there was a broad-winged... so it may have been the same bird. Is my thinking/analyzing of this bird not too bad?
  13. This might not be even remotely possible... but, why not. I was out birding in my yard (NW Arkansas) the other day and there were a few nearby raptors. The one that was closer was clearly a broad-winged hawk.. but then I heard some high pitched sounds and saw another raptor zipping across the sky... not circling like the hawk but like it had somewhere to be. It let out some high pitched sounds... I'll have to listen to some recording again and see what sounded similar. Through the binoculars it gave me a good peregrine feel... I did some playback after and, it was pretty close. I snapped a few pictures after I hurriedly turned the camera on(didn't think I'd need it on the moment I walked out the door... ugh) not that I would have gotten settings right anyway. One of these days I need to learn how to actually use the camera and not just use auto presets and such. anyway... all I got were dark silhouettes... 😕 and these are looking at an angle not below so you can't REALLY get a sense of the overall shape, I don't think. You can get an idea of the wingtips a little as well as the shape of the head... tail was closed as it was not circling...
  14. In the person's rant against me they questioned why someone would bother posting fake photos to get attention. I told them I didn't know why either but it sure happens. I can't really control what catches my attention and causes me to question... if humans gave me a reason to trust more, I would... 😞
  15. Thanks all... would any of you blame me for being suspicious/doubting?
  16. the pattern on the belly in the first picture is extremely messy as well... and, nice and neat in the second. I just don't know what to think.
  17. Carefully examine these photos, please... I don't know how easy it is to judge size and such but if you can... 1. Would you think these are REAL? 2. Is this the same bird in each picture? The story... in a group I manage, someone posted these with a story about having their screen door open and this eastern screech owl flew in to get away... stayed until the jays were gone and then left. I questioned it... The birds have very different shape in each picture... I'm sure posture could account for that??? VERY different to me. But I've seen pictures so I don't imagine it's impossible... they also look different colors... One looks like a red morph, the other gray... lighting??? I'm also TRYING to judge the size of the mantle it's supposedly perched on... the shells, pine cones, etc... The bird(s) look a LITTLE small to me... but I know they're small and all... but.... I didn't think I was rude... the lady ranted for a paragraph or two saying that me questioning the pictures said something about me. I plan on asking what it says... A pretty irate rant... attacking me. I had asked if there were any other pictures... they said yes but weren't going to bother defending themselves. Hmmmm... the rant seemed like an attempt at defense to me. They asked what they'd get out of putting a fake story up. I don't have the answer to that but, it's been done before.... People DO post fake stories and pictures. ack...
  18. Mysteries... fun and frustrating. I was driving some back roads hoping to find some american golden plovers the other day... didn't have luck where I expected them. I think after a few days of rain that's forecast I'll have some luck there... but I did see two birds out in a field... just far enough I could NOT figure out what I was looking at. Most of the field birds around have been starlings and blackbirds, meadowlarks, and killdeer. These two sort of looked more plover-ish to me from afar... tried to look through the scope but didn't have much luck... Looking at pictures now and scratching my head even more. When I zoom in I can almost think plover in one spot... eurasian collared dove in another... and even black-bellied whistling-duck but I can't explain why I'm seeing that... ha. Wrong size/shape, I know it's not a duck, would be longer neck on bbwd but, something about the head just eh... it's just a weird look... but, that's just birds at a distance I guess. First pic is one of about 4 pics I think and it's zoomed out so you can get a feel for the size/shape out there. The rest will be zoomed in/cropped more. (I think the bird on the right just has plants in front of it changing the way the neck/head look... is weird though) maybe pigeons? ha... I feel like all I'm certain of is that they're birds. I can't tell what details are actually details and which aren't. grr.... ha
  19. That IS true... I sort of like the limitations sometimes... I hate having only one species of hummingbird common here... but, for the most part it's a rthu every time you see one even if you don't get to ID it... BUT... other birds do show up... In central Arkansas and just over in Oklahoma, a couple hours in anyway, there are other gull species that get reported EVERY winter... I had a vermillion flycatcher at a local lake one year, here in NW Arkansas... photos and got many other birders to chase it, some with luck, some not... well documented... and those come through the state here and there... And I had a kiskadee in my backyard one year... 100% unmistakably... But not documented or approved... Either way... birds don't always stick to those range maps... so I like to be sure... as sure as a person can be anyway. 🙂 and yeah... it helps some. I had a herring gull impression with the bill myself but, I'm not good with birds I don't see often and gulls can just be tricky anyway. I'm glad I got pics of both these birds...
  20. I was wondering if anyone here could look at a photo on the Birding in Massachusetts group??? And either there, if they are or want to be a member, or here... give some thoughts. Actually, with the privacy settings for the group, I'll have to screenshot the image to paste it here... unless you're in the group. Link is: https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10227506046975179&set=gm.2108704745963833 Some people are suggesting this is the smoke-phase wild turkey... one guy is insisting they're Narragansett turkeys... I never heard of the smoke phase but saw an Audubon article on them. The Audubon says the color is not a result of domestic genes... I kind of question that idea... how would they know? Domestic birds are wild turkeys like domestic ducks(except muscovies) are pretty much mallard derived. How would they know if these phases are just randomly thrown naturally and not a result of interbreeding with domestics to where domestic genes are now carried on from generation to generation? It's a curious thing to me... so, I question... But even beyond the question of how they KNOW it's a legit morph/phase and not a result of domestic genes in there somewhere... How would people be able to tell a smoke phase bird from a domestic bird and from a domestic x wild hybrid? The pictures in question... my untrained eyes compared to just a couple websites and compared these birds to the smoke phase and I feel they should be darker for that... and compared with the Narragansett that someone is insisting and feel they should be lighter for that. How on earth do you look at a turkey in the wild and KNOW that it's not domestic or even a little part domestic? ugh...
  21. Thanks. I will edit my eBird report accordingly... And thanks for the second opinion. I always like more than one ID reply unless I can easily see why myself... Speaking of... Is there anything easy to describe that can make the Herring Gull an easy ID? Sometimes I look at pictures(and don't read enough...) and, I can see myself getting quite a few gulls mixed up... just very similar. Can't see the legs to get any help with leg color here... I wish I could flip through a book once(think Short Circuit, if you've ever seen that) and just remember it all... 😕
  22. Great Backyard Bird Count here in NW Arkansas... ring-billed is the most common most times of year... random gulls show up in different parts of the state and neighboring states during the winter... bonaparte's can be found this time of year too but, none of these are bogu... This one is probably a ring-billed... no white on the wing tips anywhere... Looking at my field guide, is this a 2nd winter ring-billed? (foreground black is, of course, its left wing) This bird was large enough, easy to see it wasn't one of the smaller bogu or something... Didn't get good views in the binoculars and ruled it rbgu... Later looked at the pictures and, not so sure anymore. No ringed bill for one thing... the mark on the bill looks reddish to me... and it isn't a young bird... adult ring-billed would have the ringed bill... and the bill shape looks wrong to me too... I don't think this is rbgu but, I'm not great with gulls...
  23. People know I was joking about Gomer Pyle right? Though we really do have that on the shelf... I've heard of Pyle but have never seen those books. I'd like to some day know enough about the birds to make use of something like that but, ADHD and such make book learning a little difficult at times. If I was around people talking those little details all the time I'd pick up on more of it. But who knows... maybe some day. I did order Sibley's East... That might be all I get for now.
  24. I am thinking, driving down the road and not being super close, I can see this fooling someone for a moment. I saw plenty of swans when I was a kid on trips to Boston and such... but as an adult once I became a birder, I need to put mute swan on a list somewhere so, one summer visiting Massachusetts, we were looking... and the first one we found... was fake. Had us fooled for a little bit... not very long though. And I've seen a few duck decoys, from a distance, that sure had me staring for a minute... but, didn't take long to figure out... Never mind getting home and studying my own pictures... How does a person miss this?
  25. looks like white spots on the side of the head... interesting bird. Definitely interesting...
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