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About Saphine

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Union County, North Carolina
  • Interests
    Birding (duh!), art, gardening,plants, butterflies

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  1. Are there signs for the trail? It looks like the wildlife drive and Clay Island Trail are on opposite sides of the lake... I'm looking for advice on how to bird it (directions, mostly). Is Lust Rd. the wildlife drive? I know Merritt is great for Scrub-Jays, but I'm not sure if we'll stop there- they'd only be yearbirds for me. I'm more interested in checking out Viera Wetlands to get Crested Caracara, which would be a lifer. I'll see if my parents want to check out St. Pete; we've been to Fort de Soto before, but in late summer. It's a bit far, though, and I don't think we're going to that part of the state. I think my dad would like to check out the NW part of the state, so I'm hoping we might stop at St. Marks NWR.
  2. 2 I'm fairly certain is a young Meadow Pipit. Compare with this photo: It isn't super odd to see shorebirds in trees; I've seen photos of golden-plovers, willets, whimbrels, and a few other species in trees. They always seem to do it on their breeding grounds, never in migration or on their wintering grounds. (These two are from this site: pretty neat to check out)
  4. Hi guys, I'll be birding Florida for spring break (2nd week of April) and we'll be staying in the Orlando area. One of the spots we plan to hit up is Lake Apopka for Fulvous Whistling-Ducks and the Groove-billed Anis that appear to be nesting there (let's hope they stick around!). I've never been to Lake Apopka, and I'd like some detailed instructions on how to get these main two targets (and how to bird the rest of the refuge). We also plan on visiting Cedar Key as well- I've never been there, but it looks as if it's a good spot for Florida Scrub-Jay? That'd be a nice yearbird. Are there any notable birding spots around Cedar Key? Also, what migrants might I expect? Are warblers/other neotrops moving in good numbers in early/mid April? (And are Gray Kingbirds in FL by then...?) Thanks!
  5. Yeah, male Chaffinch.
  6. 1. Looks like a Red-crested Pochard x Tufted Duck (possibly Scaup, but it looks better for Tufted) 2. The duck in the back is a Fulvous Whistling-Duck; the other two are Chesnut Teal. 3. Chiloe Wigeons 4. Red Shoveler 5. Yes, Eurasian Wigeon 6. Philippine Duck
  7. Having birded with Jack in cold weather, this is true. Jack will be alright, but he'll complain the whole way through lol.
  8. I agree with Grey Wagtail. You described their behavior pretty well- they're called wagtails for a reason!
  9. FYI to all posters- and maybe Astro can edit the main post- but please include date, location, and as many photos of the plant as you can, especially leaves. (I know I'm rehashing the bird ID, but...) It also helps to mention habitat type too.
  10. My best advice is to read, and read a lot. I got familiar with many plants thanks to an older copy of this book, which I read when I was bored on long trips. I can't help you too much with trees- I focus more on wildflowers- but getting familiar with common plants helps you pin others down. Oftentimes I'll find a plant that looks like another but isn't quite it, and thanks to the internet normally I can figure it out. I love gardening too, so obtaining natives is another thing. I love browsing Prairie Moon for plants, and at the same time you learn quite a bit from them. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center site is also really fun to browse, especially if you're looking for more info on a specific species. BONAP is really helpful if you're stuck on an ID of a plant; it has maps of plants, which can help in distinguishing ranges for a few species. Basically, I'll narrow a plant down to a possible genus and browse through the maps, narrowing down what species it could be based on range. Unfortunately I don't know of any plant ID sites, but I'd love one on here.
  11. 1. Yes, I'm pretty sure it's a Common Buzzard. 2. Tricky shot. We can't see anything of the mantle, and the leg color is a bit hard to discern... but the legs look yellow to me, so I'd go with Yellow-legged Gull. 3. Yellow-legged Gull and Great Cormorant, but the smaller gulls are a bit tricky. I'm leaning towards Mew (Common) Gull. The head looks rounder and more dovelike, and the bill of the one that's up is too short for a Black-headed. 4. European Serin, female. 5. Yes, Spotted Crake. Nice find!
  12. Yup, that's a Firecrest! Nice photo.
  13. It definitely should help. A lot of people from my year went on to attending Cornell. Fyi tips for getting into the YBE: -They definitely prefer girls/out of country people: they get a lot of guys applying, so they tend to select girls since there are less of us. They try to get people from out of the US too- my year we had a Canadian (hardly counts, I know), 2 guys from India, and a guy from Guatemala. I think in 2016 they had a guy from Brazil and someone from the UK. -They also prefer seniors, mainly because when you're a senior it's your last chance to apply and get in. One of my friends applied for like 3 years in a row until they finally accepted him. With this in mind, I'd start as early as possible. I got kinda lucky and went when I was a freshman, but I think that's because of rule 1 lol. -Unfortunately for everyone, more and more people have been applying (in 2014 I think only 70 people applied; I was told in 2016 over 150 had but I'm not 100%) so do double check your application. But, don't stress out too much over it, especially if you have multiple chances of getting in (later years). To be honest, looking back over my application it's a wonder I got in... but I'm glad I did. It's a really cool experience and I think everyone should give it a shot. The cost to go isn't much ($600) and most local clubs can cover that. It really does open your eyes to what a career in birding can look like.