Blog-o-versary Party!

Well, by "party" I mean me sitting on my couch with a warm blanket looking at old photos... My two year blog anniversary is coming up in a couple days and to celebrate I am digging into the archives for some fun stuff like birds I misidentified and birds I never identified...   Plus it's pouring and it's a nice excuse to say inside.  I would love your help with my many unsolved mystery birds!!

In 2008 I made a weird decision to quit my job and move to Philly.  I don't regret it because it helped me get my head on straight and spend some time with my family, but I returned to Portland as soon as I could (in April of '09), by way of an amazing road trip through the southwest with one of my best friends (two if you count Jake).  I wasn't into birds yet, but I would take photos of them occasionally.

From Saguaro National Park...

We thought these were roadrunners, because they were running, but I think they're Gambel's Quails:

This bird looks like a Gilded Flicker maybe:

And then there's this guy, that I just figured out is a White-winged Dove:

Damn, too bad I only count birds I've seen since I started really birding!

I called this guy a Savannah Sparrow:

Golden-crowned Sparrow, Jackson Bottoms, November 2009

I never figured out this goose:

Tualatin River NWR, November 2009

In 2009 when I was visiting my family for Christmas I took photos of this bird in my brother's yard in Somerville, Massachusetts:

I still have no idea what it is... Thoughts?

I called this guy a Peregrine:

Red-tailed Hawk, February 2010, Ridgefield NWR

And I called this guy a Golden Eagle:

                       Bald Eagle, February 2010, Ridgefield NWR 

I'm not sure what I called this bird, but I certainly didn't call it a Red-breasted Merganser:

Red-breasted Merganser, March 2010, Whidbey Island

In April of 2010 I went down to California to visit friends and we checked out the Baylands Nature Preserve in Palo Alto.  I never bothered to identify the shorebirds I saw....


Godwits and other stuff?

On the beach near my friend's house in Pacifica:


I found this bird on the way to Malheur in June 2010, but never identified it:

Wilson's Phalarope?

From Glacier National Park in July of 2010... I called this guy "some kind of flycatcher" for some reason:

Swainson's Thrush?

At Yellowstone I also called this "some kind of flycatcher":

Townsend's Solitaire

Also at Yellowstone, I called this a Western Tanager:

Pine Grosbeak?

Alright, there are many more birds I have messed up or never figured out at all, but I will leave you with just one more.  This hawk was on Steens Mountain in southeastern Oregon in September 2010:

Thank you for joining me on this trip down memory lane!  Also thank you to everyone has been reading my blog and helping me with ID's.  As you can see, I am definitely getting better but still have soooooo much to learn.  Good times!


  1. A nice stroll down memory lane, Jen!

    I agree with all your re-identifications. The bird in Massachusetts I keep trying to make into the expected Northern Mockingbird, but I keep coming back to Townsend's Solitaire with slighter bill, eyering, and white outer tail feathers. If so, a rarity!


  2. I do think the final hawk is Red-tailed.

    The goose is big, so either a domestic, but looks like it could be a color-challenged Western Canada Goose--the big resident honkers.

    There are dowitchers (assumed Long-billed) with the Marbled Godwits.

  3. Congratulations on the blog anniversary!

    That Christmas bird is a stumper... nothing I can think of makes any sense.I even checked massbird's Dec 2009 archives; full of rarities, but nothing that matched.

  4. Happy blogiversary! I've really been enjoying your posts.

  5. Congrats on the blogversary..
    Im NO expert for sure ...I'll leave it to the others to figure out your Unknowns...Thats part of the fun of birding is the Discovery process..GREAT finds by the way and since you have what is called "records" shots WHY not add these to your life list YOU did see them--

  6. What a great post, Jen! Here are my two cents on your birds:

    - In that habitat, could the Gilded be a Northern Flicker as well? I just don't know what kinds of environments the Northerns are willing to inhabit down there.

    - I THINK your Christmas bird is a younger Mockingbird with dark irises. I think the bill is not short, roundish, and bluebirdy enough for a solitaire, but rather slightly downcurved (thrasher-like) and sharpish. Most notable, however, may or may not be the dark lore or eyeline between the eye and bill. It's definitely a tough one but that is my instinct, and then I tack on that it is more expected.

    - I am 100% confident that there is Other Stuff (Otheralis Stuffensidae) with your Marbled Godwits. I hate to say it, but they are very common at this location :-)

    - Whimbrel - Yes!
    - Swainson's Thrush - Yes!
    - Pine Grosbeak - Yes!
    - Mystery Hawk - Yikes! Harlen's? Dark Morph RTHA?

    Great post.

  7. Happy Anniversary! I love you blog.

  8. Happy blogiversary! What a great set of memories you've got in those photos. Keep on birding (and blogging)!

  9. Pine Grosbeak....damn you. Happy anniversary nerd. All your id's look good...the mystery bird is definitely a mockingbird, and the last hawk a red-tailed. That goose is confusing you have other pictures? Does it have black wing tips?

  10. Jen, congrats on your blogversary! What a nice stroll down memory lane. Great birds and photos. I would love to see the Pine Grosbeak.

  11. Congrats on your blog anniversary Jen. Great collection of challenging birds. I agree with Northern Mockingbird for the one in your brother's yard. Just one look at the tail would convince me.

  12. Happy belated anniversary! What a get series of birds. Not sure I can help anymore than those that have already commented.
    My second posting was of a golden-crowned sparrow similar to the one above. I had no clue for quite some time. Seems like second nature now. :-)
    Continued good birding!


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