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guy_incognito

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About guy_incognito

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  1. California 2017 Whatbird Big Year

    Yeah, nice to finally meet you face to face! There certainly have been good birds around recently. Would love to get an Arctic/Kamchatka Leaf Warbler in the state. Seems like it wasn't reportedly in a very timely fashion. Didn't make a difference since I was way out in the desert. We had a decent day with a Black-and-white Warbler, Dickcissel, Northern Waterthrush, and American Redstart. No new county birds for me, but we also had a Twelve-spotted Skimmer, which was a new county dragonfly for me.
  2. California 2017 Whatbird Big Year

    Thought JB might beat me to this one (he at least beat me to the bird). Louisiana Waterthrush by mattag2002, on Flickr Also added the Ruff.
  3. Ecuador trip report - August 2017

    TRIP SUMMARY: Ecuador was a great location as a first trip to South America, and was actually fairly close to what I was expecting. There is a lot of different habitat in the country, and you can see lots of birds with totally different trip strategies. Our trip was one that seemed to be a somewhat less stressful and comfortable itinerary. We stayed mostly in high elevations which maintain comfortable to cool weather, and kept bugs to a minimum. While the high elevations provide interesting birds, the sheer number of species is lower. Had we gone to lower elevations, especially the Amazon basin, we could have had a much higher trip total. Even still, I think I had a respectable number of birds, even considering I definitely missed out on some while I was sick. My totals for the trip: Ecuador - 428 World Lifers - 314 Year Birds - 382 Photos Taken - at least 8813 Species Photographed - at least 344 (many species I didn't even bother to photograph such as the vultures) Miles traveled - around 950
  4. Ecuador trip report - August 2017

    DAY 14 cont'd: We arrived back at the lodge in the late morning to give us a bit of time to pack up, have lunch, and then start the drive back towards Quito. I can pack quickly, so I squeezed in more birding. Was happy to get some decent looks at a Bronze-green Euphonia and a pair of Gilded Barbets. Bronze-green Euphonia by mattag2002, on Flickr Gilded Barbet by mattag2002, on Flickr Gilded Barbet by mattag2002, on Flickr Wire-crested Thorntail by mattag2002, on Flickr After trying multiple times to see one using playback, we were surprised to get decent looks at Blackish Antbird that spontaneously showed itself. Blackish Antbird by mattag2002, on Flickr During lunch the fog rolled in, but so did the birds. We had one last frenzy of activity, and even picked up an Ecuadorian Tyrannulet as a new bird. Squirrel Cuckoo, Red-headed Barbets, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Yellow-breated Antwren, Olivaceous Greenlet, Blue-necked Tanager, Golden Tanager, Purple Honeycreeper, and Green Honeycreeper were just a few of the birds in this last group. Red-headed Barbet by mattag2002, on Flickr Yellow-breasted Antwren by mattag2002, on Flickr Red-headed Barbet by mattag2002, on Flickr Golden Tanager by mattag2002, on Flickr https://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S38721318 The drive back was fairly slow. There was a flyby Black Caracara. We made a 5 minute stop to try unsuccessfully for a Blackish Nightjar. Sadly, the weather wasn't good, and I don't think many others were interested in trying again for the Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, so we drove right on through Papallacta Pass back towards Quito. We had one last dinner together and said our goodbyes as some were already leaving that night, and the rest of us would be leaving in two different groups early the next morning.
  5. Ecuador trip report - August 2017

    DAY 14: Sadly, this would be our last full day in Ecuador, and much of it would have to be spent driving back to Quito. The morning was spent again at WildSumaco. We covered some of the same areas as the day before, and took a short trip down a trail into a new area. By the lodge we had a Montane Foliage-gleaner. And heading down the road, I believe it was our bus driver who first spotted the Chestnut-fronted Macaws. Montane Foliage-gleaner by mattag2002, on Flickr Chestnut-fronted Macaw by mattag2002, on Flickr Further down the road we came across a couple nice flocks of birds including a Golden-eared Tanager (no photo), and poor photos of a Gray-mantled Wren and Lemon-browed Flycatcher. Spotted Tanager, Yellow-bellied Tanager, and Collared Trogon were more cooperative. Spotted Tanager by mattag2002, on Flickr Collared Trogon by mattag2002, on Flickr Yellow-bellied Tanager by mattag2002, on Flickr A few Violaceous Trogons were new for the trip. Violaceous Jay by mattag2002, on Flickr Violaceous Jay by mattag2002, on Flickr Down the new trail the birding was pretty slow. We eventually came across some birds including a Becard I completely missed, a Fulvous Shrike-Tanager I barely saw and photograph, and a Blue-browed Tanager that nearly killed my neck looking straight up in order to get a fraction of second look. The major bummer of the morning was missing a White-tipped Sicklebill that most of the group saw. I was busy trying to relocate another hummer that I had briefly seen, and was almost assuredly a lifer. Then, while I was lagging behind hoping to relocate the Sicklebill, and I missed out on a lifer Yellow-breasted Flycatcher.
  6. Any Lifers?

    Swallow-tailed Gull by mattag2002, on Flickr
  7. Birds of North America

    Swallow-tailed Gull by mattag2002, on Flickr
  8. Ecuador trip report - August 2017

    DAY 3 cont'd: As we returned for lunch, we also were treated with a few Black-mantled Tamarins that came in outside the deck of the lodge. Black-mantled Tamarin by mattag2002, on Flickr Black-mantled Tamarin by mattag2002, on Flickr After lunch I did a bit of independent birding and teamed up with a few others for a while before our larger group would meet for the afternoon session. Right behind the lodge I spotted a Deep-blue Flowerpiercer, and a few others later got on it. This was the last Flowerpiercer of the trip, and it meant I had actually seen every Flowerpiercer species in the guidebook! I also got some bad photos of a Rufous-naped Greenlet, and got some photos of an Elaenia which is probably not identifiable. We did find a Golden-faced Tyrannulet collecting nesting material, which allowed our best looks of this species for the trip. Deep-blue Flowerpiercer by mattag2002, on Flickr Golden-faced Tyrannulet by mattag2002, on Flickr Once the rest of the group joined, we headed back towards the trail where we had the Antpittas before. On the way we got some more distant looks at a Golden-collared Toucanet. A couple split off to try for the Antpitta again. In the meantime, we found a few nice birds such as an Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Golden-winged Manakin, and Striped Manakin. Golden-collared Toucanet by mattag2002, on Flickr Andean Cock-of-the-rock by mattag2002, on Flickr Golden-winged Manakin by mattag2002, on Flickr Back to the main road we got some better looks at Green-backed Trogon, a pair of White-backed Fire-eye, and new birds Crimson-crested Woodpecker and Olive-chested Flycatcher. Green-backed Trogon by mattag2002, on Flickr Green-backed Trogon by mattag2002, on Flickr Crimson-crested Woodpecker by mattag2002, on Flickr White-backed Fire-eye by mattag2002, on Flickr Olive-chested Flycatcher by mattag2002, on Flickr Black-billed Thrush by mattag2002, on Flickr We'd been seeing a few earlier, but it finally got some decently close looks at the stunning Paradise Tanager. Paradise Tanager by mattag2002, on Flickr Back at the lodge in the late afternoon produced many of the same hummingbirds. As usual, light was really low, and I had to resort to flash. Gorgeted Woodstar by mattag2002, on Flickr Booted Racket-tail by mattag2002, on Flickr https://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S38721311
  9. Ecuador trip report - August 2017

    DAY 13: Nearing the end. This would be our one full day around WildSumaco Lodge. WildSumaco has a checklist of well over 500 species. Many of those of exceedingly rare and one time records, but this still is a place where you want to spend a few days. We'd have to try to make the most of it in our shorter visit. One of the first birds was a skulky Black-billed Treehunter, which I unfortunately couldn't get a photo of. Still around the lodge we had quite a few nice birds like Lined Antshrike, Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner, Yellow-breasted Antwren, Ornate Flycatcher, and even had a flock of Maroon-tailed Parakeets fly in. Lined Antshrike by mattag2002, on Flickr Maroon-tailed Parakeet by mattag2002, on Flickr Ornate Flycatcher by mattag2002, on Flickr Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner by mattag2002, on Flickr Yellow-breasted Antwren by mattag2002, on Flickr Lafresnaye's Piculet by mattag2002, on Flickr Exploring along the roads leading out from the lodge the habitat opened up a bit and started getting some new species. I had missed Plumbeous Pigeon earlier in the trip so it was a nice catch-up. We hadn't seen many woodpeckers during the trip, so it was a relief to finally get some more this day, but one of the highlights of the morning was a pair of Magpie Tanagers. Yellow-tufted Woodpecker by mattag2002, on Flickr Plumbeous Pigeon by mattag2002, on Flickr Magpie Tanager by mattag2002, on Flickr We came across a mixed flock with some nice species, but basically couldn't get any good (if any) pictures. I really wanted a decent look at the Fiery-throated Fruiteater...oh well. We also had distant and dark views of a Golden-collared Toucanet. Later in the morning we stopped by a hummingbird feeding station. Undoubtedly our highlight was a Gould's Jewelfront. After some patience, we also got quick glimpses at a Dusky Spinetail skulking behind. Gould's Jewelfront by mattag2002, on Flickr A bit more birding before lunch turned up a pair of Coppery-chested Jacamars! Coppery-chested Jacamar by mattag2002, on Flickr
  10. Ecuador trip report - August 2017

    DAY 12 cont'd: Arriving at WildSumaco in the mid afternoon left a fair amount of time to get some birding in. Right at the lodge we had birds at the hummingbird feeders. Lots of Golden-tailed Sapphires at the feeders, Violet-headed Hummingbirds at the bushes, and Wire-crested Thorntails here and there. Violet-headed Hummingbird by mattag2002, on Flickr Golden-tailed Sapphire by mattag2002, on Flickr Wire-crested Thorntail by mattag2002, on Flickr Our leader wandered off behind the rooms and found a pair of Many-banded Aracaris! Many-banded Aracari by mattag2002, on Flickr One of the staff let us know he was going down to the feeding station. One of the first birds to come in was an Ochre-breasted Antpitta, which would frequently pop in and out while we were waiting for other species. Our 10th and final Antpitta of the trip appeared, a Plain-backed Antpitta. Ochre-breasted Antpitta by mattag2002, on Flickr Plain-backed Antpitta by mattag2002, on Flickr Ochre-breasted Antpitta by mattag2002, on Flickr While waiting at the feeding area we had an Andean Motmot. It was hard to be quiet and not move around too much while trying to look at the Motmot, but not risk scaring away any birds near the feeding station. Andean Motmot by mattag2002, on Flickr The light kept on getting worse and worse. A Spotted Nightingale-Thrush ran in and out 2-3 times. It was really tough to see even with binoculars, and almost impossible to see with the camera. Managed a bad photo. A White-crowned Tapaculo also came in. The photos actually weren't as bad as I was expecting considering I was shooting at ISO 16000 and at only 1/30 sec. White-crowned Tapaculo by mattag2002, on Flickr The final bit of the day was mostly spent back by the feeders. Rufous-vented Whitetip by mattag2002, on Flickr Blue Dacnis by mattag2002, on Flickr Ecuadorian Piedtail by mattag2002, on Flickr Napo Sabrewing by mattag2002, on Flickr Green Hermit by mattag2002, on Flickr Black-throated Brilliant by mattag2002, on Flickr Many-spotted Hummingbird by mattag2002, on Flickr Wire-crested Thorntail by mattag2002, on Flickr http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S38721295
  11. Ecuador trip report - August 2017

    DAY 12: We birded around San Isidro for just a short time, seeing mostly the same birds as we had seen before. http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S38721208 The plan was to bird at a few places on the way to WildSumaco Lodge. We first returned to Guacamayos Ridge, hoping to find some the birds we saw the day before for better views and for others to see, and maybe to spot one or two birds we only heard. It was pretty slow. We didn't hear or see the Mountain-toucan this time, and we didn't see any Grass-green Tanagers. The one highlight was eventually seeing a pair of Slate-crowned Antpittas that were quickly moving around, so I was happy to even get any sort of photo. Slate-crowned Antpitta by mattag2002, on Flickr http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S38721231 Our leader had a few quick stops in mind en route. The first turned out great with our only Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant of the trip. Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant by mattag2002, on Flickr The next spot unfortunately didn't produce any of the hoped for Blackish Nightjars. Just down the road we had another spot, which produce Fawn-breasted Tanager and Cliff Flycatcher. Cliff Flycatcher by mattag2002, on Flickr http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S38721258 A bit further along we visited a feeding station where we also ate our own lunches. One of the key species here did not disappoint, and we saw a handful of White-tailed Hillstars. Another bonus bird was Glittering-throated Emerald. Unfortunately it started raining on us here, which made further photos tough. Glittering-throated Emerald by mattag2002, on Flickr White-tailed Hillstar by mattag2002, on Flickr The rain eased up for a bit, and we spent about half an hour checking the surrounding trees. A flock moved through which was exciting, but a challenge! Many birds were new, but we'd see many of them again at WildSumaco. The Ash-browed Spinetail would be the only one of the trip (so-so photo in the eBird checklist). Little Woodpecker by mattag2002, on Flickr http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S38721264
  12. West USA Road Trip Bird ID Help

    Agree with Gray Jay. I saw one at Echo Lake, too! Welcome to WhatBird.
  13. Ecuador trip report - August 2017

    DAY 11 cont'd: For part of the morning we explored the road near the lodge. A bit slow, but it was nice to see a Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher, Azara's Spinetail, Rufous Spinetail, and a few Southern Lapwings. Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher by mattag2002, on Flickr Rufous Spinetail by mattag2002, on Flickr https://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S38672425 In the afternoon we went to nearby Guacamayos Ridge. It started out well with a Turquoise Jay, and not too far down the trail had Green-and-black Fruiteater. We had brief views of Sharpe's Wren, and some REALLY distant looks at Grass-green Tanager. Unfortunately we only heard Black-billed Mountain-toucan and Slate-crowned Antpitta. Turquoise Jay by mattag2002, on Flickr Green-and-black Fruiteater by mattag2002, on Flickr Sharpe's Wren by mattag2002, on Flickr https://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S38677440 A late afternoon return to the lodge didn't produce anything. We met right before dinner for a Hail Mary attempt at an owl. Sometimes fortune smiles, and we were surprised to get very nice looks at this Rufous-banded Owl. Rufous-banded Owl by mattag2002, on Flickr I was a little bummed since the photos just weren't as sharp as they should have been (if you zoom in, you'll see they aren't nearly as sharp as the San Isidro Owl). Myself and one other tried again after dinner. We were able to see it, but just wasn't nearly as close so it wasn't possible to improve on the photos. We also stumbled across at least two different San Isidro Owls.
  14. Ecuador trip report - August 2017

    DAY 11: This day would be spent at and near San Isidro. First would be birding around the lodge for about an hour before breakfast. Still pretty dark, making flash pretty much necessary (I try to avoid flash if I can). Olive-backed Woodcreeper by mattag2002, on Flickr Green Jay (Inca) by mattag2002, on Flickr Black-billed Peppershrike by mattag2002, on Flickr Black-billed Peppershrike by mattag2002, on Flickr Montane Woodcreeper by mattag2002, on Flickr Pale-edged Flycatcher by mattag2002, on Flickr We also had a couple nice birds way in the distance (Rufous-creasted Tanager and Sierran Elaenia), too far and too brief for photos. After our breakfast we decided to attend a breakfast for the White-bellied Antpitta (Antpitta #8 for the trip!). White-bellied Antpitta by mattag2002, on Flickr A huge swirling mass of White-collared Swifts was above us, a really impressive sight. A few Chestnut-collared Swifts were mixed in. White-collared Swift by mattag2002, on Flickr Chestnut-collared Swift by mattag2002, on Flickr Of course, it is hard to ignore all the dazzling hummingbirds by the feeders. Lesser Violetear by mattag2002, on Flickr Long-tailed Sylph by mattag2002, on Flickr Sparkling Violetear by mattag2002, on Flickr Speckled Hummingbird by mattag2002, on Flickr Fawn-breasted Brilliant by mattag2002, on Flickr https://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S38672403
  15. Ecuador trip report - August 2017

    DAY 10 cont'd: We left Guango lodge, heading further east and lower in elevation for our next lodge at San Isidro. We made a stop in the town of Baeza at a pharmacy, and hopping along the sidewalk was our first Yellow-browed Sparrow of the trip. Also here is a Tropical Kingbird for no better reason than it was there, I had nothing better to do while waiting for the others, and I didn't take photos of any others during the trip. Yellow-browed Sparrow by mattag2002, on Flickr Tropical Kingbird by mattag2002, on Flickr With that short stop out of the way we continued on towards San Isidro, but actually drove just a couple miles beyond it to Cosanga. Here we checked the river, and lo and behold, I spotted our targets. We repositioned, and got some decent looks (yes, the ducks, not the photobombing Spotted Sandpiper). Torrent Duck by mattag2002, on Flickr Torrent Duck by mattag2002, on Flickr Torrent Duck by mattag2002, on Flickr Torrent Duck by mattag2002, on Flickr A rather attractive seedeater greeted us as we left, already very happy to have that major target out of the way. Chestnut-bellied Seedeater by mattag2002, on Flickr http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S38672437 We arrived at San Isidro in the late afternoon, and most of us immediately started looking for birds. We'd see basically everything again, but you never know, and the only way you'll see something interesting is by being out there. At least I got my catch up Bluish Flowerpiercer. Bluish Flowerpiercer by mattag2002, on Flickr Russet-backed Oropendola by mattag2002, on Flickr Smoke-colored Pewee by mattag2002, on Flickr Golden-crowned Flycatcher by mattag2002, on Flickr Gorgeted Woodstar by mattag2002, on Flickr Bronzy Inca by mattag2002, on Flickr San Isidro is especially well known for one bird. There are several owls that were discovered in this area that look half way between a Black-and-white Owl and a Black-banded Owl. So are they hybrids? No one ones for sure. The issue is that Black-and-white are only on the west slope. Black-banded are on the east slope, but only at lower elevation. Seems unlikely that these could really be hybrids given there is no range overlap between the other species, and this owl is not in range for either one. Perhaps this is a third species, but some also wonder if this is evidence that perhaps all 3 should just be one species? Whatever the case, the jury is still out, and what they call the San Isidro Owl currently doesn't count as any species (per eBird, at least). We didn't see it on our first check on the way to dinner, but had no problem finding one after dinner. I would see it again two more times that night without really even looking for it, and I saw at least two different birds the following night. San Isidro Owl by mattag2002, on Flickr San Isidro Owl by mattag2002, on Flickr San Isidro Owl by mattag2002, on Flickr http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S38672382
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