Lots to reply to, hope I don’t forget anything!

OK, boring stuff first.  Thanks for your input on my ‘single pixel’ bird.  Yes, I know it’s impossible to ID from that, but I was curious what different angles the group would take – what their respective ‘guts’ told them.  I can’t say if you’re right or wrong, because I don’t know what it is either.  I spotted it, took 100 (near identical) pictures of it, then it flew off.  I was hoping I’d catch it take flight so I could get wing shots, but it just vanished in between clicks!  At first I thought “too far to tell”.  Then I looked through my binoculars and thought “well, maybe I can zoom enough with the camera?”  At that point I thought maybe it was a mockingbird.  Through the binoculars I thought it was a hawk (Copper’s?) then later, on the PC, I had the strangest notion it might be a cuckoo!  Today, after looking closely at the same area, I went back to thinking it might be a mockingbird!  What was interesting (to me) was the fact that you all said “Hawk?” independently and with so little to go on!  Just for the record, it was preening at the time, so well done Jenn!

OK, sparrows.  Jenn, I’m so thrilled you got to see (and photo) a Lark Sparrow.  I’ve never seen one!  I met a guy today from Orlando who was “just passing” and we chatted for a few minutes.  He asked if I’d seen any sparrows and I said that I hadn’t seen a single one of any species yet, but that my friend on the east coast just saw a Lark Sparrow!  Just after he left, I saw a sparrow (a Clay-coloured I think?) so maybe he was my lucky charm?  He said he always eBirded, so I’m looking forward to checking out his submission for ‘my’ area when he posts.

SLB:  I went to Clearwater on Friday and I was amazed at how many Sandwich Terns there were – more than any other species (even gulls)!  I saw 100-150 of them, about 13 Royals and 1 (perhaps 2) Forster’s.  I also found someone to report the leg flag/bands to today so that got done too.

That small grey bird is 100% a Blue-grey Gnatcatcher.  I can say that for certain, but the trait of wagging its tail to the side is also a dead give-away.  As for the shorebirds, I’ll look at that later as I’m running so late tonight, but a 2-second glance made me think greater or lesser yellowlegs?  I’ll come back to it I promise!

Right, that’ll do for now folks, TTFN


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