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millipede

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Maybe one day I'll be a good enough birder I'll NEVER make a mistake or get my hopes up where hopes aren't warranted... Ha... right...

It is REALLY frustrating how variable birds are... And on top of that, it's REALLY frustrating how some birds will NOT sit still for more than 1 second making it SO difficult to get good looks or pictures.

I stopped at one of my favorite spots today to look for an american tree sparrow... Two different people have seen one there and I visit this place more than ANYONE... one of the pictures someone got, I was like 50 yards away when they got the picture... they didn't know they got the sparrow til they got home and looked at pics but, it was RIGHT there while I was there.
Playback didn't work that day, or any day I've been there. Which is frustrating.
There are more reliable tree sparrows about half an hour or so away but in another county and I really wanted to add it to this county... Even though I sort of could, and want to anyway from seeing one 19(ish) years ago. I remember once I started getting more into birding, looking at photos, and I had one where I used to live. But now, I can't even find those pictures to triple check... Eh...

Anyway, instead of Merlin's audio, I tried the Audubon app's audio today and I seemed to get more of a reaction. One bird in particular, seemed to fit well. Either it was there and I didn't get a picture or, this one bird really just fooled me. Had the right color to the cap... seemed to have a bi-colored bill...  had a spot on the front(I've seen SO many species display a spot on the front... grrr) But studying my pictures now, all I have is swamp sparrow pics... 
This one here, it LOOKS like it has a bi-colored bill but, I'm thinking the yellow doesn't go all the way down... but ugh, this thing got my hopes up for a little while.
(Not posting in the ID section because, I'm certain this is a swamp sparrow...)
Anyway... birds can frustrate me. Why can't they just wear name tags?  HA. 
What birds/families give you the most frustration?

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Gonna be uncreative and say the Empidonax flycatchers.

Out West in the spring, Hammonds, dusky, least, Willow and Pacific-slope flycatchers can be seen within the same checklist. The last two aren’t so difficult to ID, but the other ones aren’t immediately obvious. At least most of them are vocalizing! 
Then here come fall, Alder, Willow, least, and sometimes Hammonds, yellow-bellied, and pacific-slope are moving through and they’re all silent… Last fall I saw a very yellow flycatcher that was either a pacific-slope or a yellow-bellied but had to leave it off as Empidonax sp. as I only saw it briefly. Luckily, neither would have been a lifer but they would have been county lifers.

It is frustrating as even a brief view generally allows you to ID the majority of birds—not in this family though!

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23 hours ago, IKLland said:

GULLS

Given every visit to Lake Mead leads to two hours of looking at hundreds of gulls in photos, I agree with everyone who said this.

On 1/12/2023 at 6:03 PM, Aaron said:

Out West in the spring, Hammonds, dusky, least, Willow and Pacific-slope flycatchers can be seen within the same checklist.

I have no idea what you're talking about. Nope, not at all.

 

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On 1/13/2023 at 11:30 PM, DLecy said:

when you learn to ID the straightforward expected ones in your area, at all ages.

That's another thing that gets me... how different they can look at different ages... and some species, different times of year.
And then the variations across the country... Song sparrows can be very different in different areas... some finches... even red-shouldered hawks? Ack...
It can be maddening at times.
And then the "expected" and the unexpected...
On the one hand, this makes it nice... a hummingbird flies by... it's a ruby-throated here...
except for when it isn't... which, I'd never know if it were some of the ones that are similar to RTHU or if it was just too fast to get a good look at.
Just last year I drove an hour and a half east to the Eureka Springs area to get a violetear...  you just never know... it's better to be safe than sorry with the expected IDs but...
It would kill me if I was looking at 1000 ring-billed gulls and then later find out someone saw something unexpected among them... and, that sort of thing happens.
birds.......... 
I suggest we all get together and make name tags for them all. Would make things a lot easier.
(at least until they started swapping them just to frustrate us)

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1 hour ago, millipede said:

 
I suggest we all get together and make name tags for them all. Would make things a lot easier.
(at least until they started swapping them just to frustrate us)

In my opinion, identifying things is a big part of the joy of birding. The frustration just makes it more satisfying when you are able to ID a bird correctly.

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1 hour ago, Quiscalus quiscula said:

In my opinion, identifying things is a big part of the joy of birding. The frustration just makes it more satisfying when you are able to ID a bird correctly.

Definitely! The joy of correctly identifying a lifer or rare bird(or any difficult bird) is great for me.

Edited by Snake Fingers
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