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About atxrvabyrd

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  1. I thought it might be, psweet. The ask was a real shot in the dark. The females are hard enough when they come to our feeders, never mind when they're all tucked in like this. Probably won't get back to this trail for several days. fingers crossed that I can find the nest again :-) appreciate the reply at least.
  2. We expect both ruby-throateds and black-chinneds here in Austin. There was no way to get more of the female than what's in the shot. Can one distinguish between the two species based on the nest design alone? The environment, btw, is dense deciduous understory and the nest maybe ~10 feet above a creek. (and yes, that is ball moss on the elm, great camouflage for the nest)
  3. Thanks, S.C.
  4. There's no chance that this is a solitary, right? (at least one was reported at this site yesterday) It seemed rather darker with more spotting than streaking than the definitive lessers that were out today, the definition of the wing seemed more pronounced and the realization of the eye ring seemed different, too (is there a white "spectacles" above the bill?). I'm probably just seeing what I want to see, though. Images are cropped, but otherwise untouched. Austin, today
  5. Agreed. That face will get even blacker very soon; it's coming into its breeding plumage. In Austin most of our remaining YRWAs are pretty much there. We get to see very little of just how beautiful these birds are before they head north.
  6. Thanks you Fancy and Melierax. I first got excited about a Western, too, Melierax, but then I started changing my opinion about the leg color, I just had a hard time explaining to myself the plumage in the context of everything else (had never seen feathers as worn as these).
  7. Hi all, Peeps and pipers are moving through and my skills have really atrophied. I need some help on these in particular This first set is weird. The bird seems to have proportions of a least sandpiper, but the plumage, compared the other hundreds out this morning, is remarkably pale and indistinct. Moreover, I can't tell whether I'm looking at dark or yellowish/muddy legs. I've included an exemplar of a more typical Least around here for comparison. In this next set, I think I have a Baird's with a Pectoral in one shot. Thanks for your help!
  8. Thank you, psweet for this explanation. It made it resemble a logic problem, which I like. Thanks again for taking the time!
  9. Psweet, I'm asking this just for my own edification. Concerning the eye color of these two species, Sibley's seems to indicate that yellow is diagnostic (for Great-tails) only around the Gulf (where ranges overlap). Does that observation need revision? Either way, location from the OP would go a long way to the ID.
  10. Thank you NJ!
  11. (Austin, 26 March) Could you all take a look at this series of photos? I think they're of Brewer's blackbirds. The shorter tails and the somewhat smaller beaks, as well as the iridescence pattern all suggest not-grackle. especially when contrasted with the last bird in the series, which has to be a common grackle to my mind. It's been ages since I've seen anything but great-tailed grackles and red-wings, so I'm very rusty (no pun intended) on the rest of my blackbirds. Many thanks!
  12. You're right. I thought faster than I typed and omitted that non-trivial piece of information. (Now where is that embarrassment emoji...?) Thanks for the correction. Corrected the original post
  13. I agree. We've had a bunch of eared grebes at hornsby this fall. If you're still in town, look up the triangle at the intersection of lamar and burnett. There's been a breeding pair there for at least a couple of years now. EDIT:...There's been a breeding pair of LEAST GREBES at the Triangle (thanks for the catch, JJA!) here's one of the parents from this fall:
  14. Thanks you two. not too uncommon in the winter here, but I haven't been able to catch one in several years--thus my being waay out of practice.
  15. Hi all. Don't know if there's enough detail in these shots for a confident ID. This bird was not the usual carolina or bewick's that we have in Austin (today or any time of year). This location is at the edge of a low-grass prairie where sedge wrens have been reported for the better part of the winter. The bird perched on this standing cypress for about a minute about an hour after sunrise and then dove back into the grass cover. The breast color was too pale for a carolina, upper parts not grey enough for a bewick's and the tail seems too short, as well. The habitat is wrong for both of those wrens anyhow. Some shots (tiny bird at about 100 ft.) seem to show some streaking on the wings and tail. Detail washed out of the upper parts and head--except for a faint supercilliary and eye line. Any help would be appreciated.