Lessons in Humility

Every time I think I’m getting pretty good at this birding stuff, someone comes along and takes me down a few pegs. This week it happened twice.  The first was an email from an ebird rep wanting more information on a sighting I had earlier this month.  I reported an American Tree Sparrow and he politely informed me that, while not impossible, it was very improbable. Usually, if I put something that flags as rare and I don’t have a photo, I delete it, but for some reason it didn’t flag, and even though I had no photograph I felt fairly confident in my identification.  Anyway, I couldn’t be sure so I deleted the report. It was probably a chipping sparrow or something similar.  Sparrows are hard for me.

The other was even worse.  I go out birding 3 or more times a week and might see 35 or so different species in a morning at most.  Yesterday, someone travelling through here spotted 65 different species in a morning, three of which, I’ve never seen. So, naturally, I had to go out this morning and see if I could at least add those two to my list.  One of them, a Sora, I might have heard, but if I did, it was so far away and the resident Red-wing Blackbirds were being so loud that I might have just imagined it, or it might have been a killdeer or something. Next was an Upland Sandpiper, which I didn’t see any sign of.  However, I reported a Greater Yellowlegs 3 days ago and now questions if it was actually a UPSA rather than a GRYE that I saw. Of course I didn’t take a photo.  Third was a Bonapart’s Gull. I did see a Franklin’s Gull the day before this report, but then so did the other guy. Actually he saw over 30 of them plus the Bonapart’s. Maybe I need new glasses.

So, anyway, here’s a few of the birds I did see.

Greater RoadrunnerGreater Roadrunner (188) (1024x684) Greater Roadrunner (189) (1024x684) Greater Roadrunner (190) (1024x684)

Loggerhead ShrikeLoggerhead Shrike (22) (1024x661)

Western MeadowlarkWestern Meadowlark (48) (1024x684) Western Meadowlark (51) (1024x654)

Horned LarkHorned Lark (18) (1024x734)

Yellow-headed BlackbirdYellow-headed Blackbird (24) (1024x684)

Say’s PhoebeSay's Phoebe (4) (1024x635)

Scissor-tailed FlycatcherScissor-tailed Flycatcher (187) (1024x659)

A pair of Great Horned OwlsGreat Horned Owl (64) (1024x684) Great Horned Owl (67) (1024x684) Great Horned Owl (70) (1024x673) Great Horned Owl (71) (1024x684)

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