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Today, Lexington County, SC.  I'm pretty sure it was an accipiter, based on the tail length in relation to the body and wingspan, the relatively perpendicular angle of the leading edge, and the stubby, no-neck appearance.  I'm content reporting it as Cooper's / Sharp-Shinned, just wondering if anyone wants to take a shot at it.  Is the white spot mid-wing useful?

Thanks regardless.

image.png.725371a0c580a4b486446d3c239d943d.png

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2 minutes ago, John Landon said:

Looks more like a swallow .

I can see that but I don't think so,  The flight was very direct and straight.  The bird was also several hundred feet away; I wouldn't have spotted a swallow at that range.  I know distance is deceiving but the bird was definitely larger than a swallow.  The photo doesn't show it well but the distance from the training edge of the wing to the end of the tail was at least the same length as either wing.

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Looks good for an Accipiter based on the tail pattern.  It looks more like a Sharpie than a Cooper's at this angle, but I would want more photos to confirm.

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2 minutes ago, The Bird Nuts said:

but I would want more photos to confirm.

I'd like some more too, but those would required a better photographer than I, one who was better prepared when the bird appeared.   :classic_biggrin:

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1 minute ago, John Landon said:

The tail is squared rather than rounded, which rules out both ostrich and emu. Sharpie?

Ya know, I almost checked 'Ratite species'.  That's a shame; those would have been lifers.  :classic_tongue:

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Believe me I know, can not count how many near hits/misses. Frustrating - dang what was that moments. It’s all fun though.

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3 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

I'd like some more too, but those would required a better photographer than I, one who was better prepared when the bird appeared.   :classic_biggrin:

I recently bought my first DSLR (just an entry level Nikon D3400) and I am so impressed by how quickly I can get photos of birds in flight now.  The camera turns on and focuses almost instantly!  I definitely recommend getting one if you've been frustrated with your point-and-shoot.  After finding the right settings for quick bird shots, I think I prefer my DSLR with a relatively short telephoto lens (300mm) over my superzoom point-and-shoot.  I remember you were having trouble with your camera, so I thought I'd let you know my experience.

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4 minutes ago, The Bird Nuts said:

I recently bought my first DSLR (just an entry level Nikon D3400) and I am so impressed by how quickly I can get photos of birds in flight now.  The camera turns on and focuses almost instantly!  I definitely recommend getting one if you've been frustrated with your point-and-shoot.  After finding the right settings for quick bird shots, I think I prefer my DSLR with a relatively short telephoto lens (300mm) over my superzoom point-and-shoot.  I remember you were having trouble with your camera, so I thought I'd let you know my experience.

In this case, I don't think better hardware would have made any difference.  I was on the deck this afternoon getting some shots of a Turkey Vulture and Red-Tailed soaring around when the Coop/Sharp came across a different arc of sky at a different altitude.  i was lucky to get my angle changed quickly enough to get it in frame for one shot before I lost it behind the tree line.

Frankly, a DSLR still intimidates me.  Before I move up, I need to better understand how to use what I have.  I still haven't mastered manually focusing it; I'm only successful about a third of the time.

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Just now, Charlie Spencer said:

I still haven't mastered manually focusing it; I'm only successful about a third of the time.

I wouldn't spend a lot of time trying to manually focus a point and shoot camera, I haven't been able to manually focus successfully on ANY of the point and shoot cameras I have/had. Not only is it incredibly slow, I've never been able to get it accurate enough to produce a decent image. Manual exposure is a lot more challenging with point and shoot cameras too, while it can be done on P&S cameras, the controls are much easy to access and adjust on DSLRs than a P&S. Just saying.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Frankly, a DSLR still intimidates me.  Before I move up, I need to better understand how to use what I have.  I still haven't mastered manually focusing it; I'm only successful about a third of the time.

It's really not that difficult.  I have my DSLR set on one mode (Aperture priority) almost all the time and the only thing I need to adjust when shooting is the exposure compensation (to make an image lighter or darker).  Things like ISO and shutter speed are chosen by the camera (after I set minimums and maximums, etc. during setup).  While it is much easier than a point-and-shoot to focus manually with a DSLR, I find that I don't usually need to use manual focus (except for if the bird is behind branches) as the autofocus does a great job.

Edited by The Bird Nuts
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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, lonestranger said:

Manual exposure is a lot more challenging with point and shoot cameras too,

I haven't tackled manual exposure at all.  My primary goal is to getting photos with identifiable images.  Over- and under- exposure usually don't hamper that for me as much as out of focus.  Most of the time auto-focus works for me satisfactorily, but there are those occasions when something is behind a few branches.  I can toggle the camera easily between auto and manual but I get fumble-fingered in manual, have to take my eye off the bird to see what I'm doing, and then lose him.  It's mostly a matter of practice until I get comfortable.  I expect I'd have to go through the same physical practice with any replacement.

Besides, given a choice between improving my photographic skills and my birding ones, the birding ones take priority.  As I noted, the camera is just to capture images of things I can't readily identify in the field.  Maybe I'll be more of a shutterbug after retirement.

Thanks!

Edited by Charlie Spencer

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Not to digress, but concerning ID on this bird, I too agree this is definitely an Accipiter. I would agree GISS points to Sharpie, possibly tail shape too but it's hard to gauge that at this angle.

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