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Thread: Bird ID Needed

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    Default Bird ID Needed

    Phoograph 1: Sorry abut the appauling quality but is it possible to tell what it is. Can somebody confirm its at least a Plover.

    Photograph 2: Taken inland at a Wetlands Reserve. Is it a Common Gull or Kittiwake?

    Photograph 3: Is it a Scaup? Seen among lots of Tufties but Scaups were present there. (Bird in the centre of the picture)

    Photograph 4: A Yellow Legged Gull? The legs are a very vibrant yellow. Canada Goose is there for size comparison.
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    Similarly ...

    1 Lapwing? In which case yes, it is a plover!
    2 Wrong habitat for Kittiwake and looks to be more Herring than Common in size/build/plumage.
    3 Could be a drake Scaup (is it showing grey rather than black mantle?). It could equally well be a hybrid or just a Tuftie from a 'funny' angle.
    4 Looks like a gull with yellow legs but further than that I can't say.

    Apologies but the pics just aren't quite good enough to be more certain.

    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
    2 Wrong habitat for Kittiwake and looks to be more Herring than Common in size/build/plumage.
    It's a Black-headed Gull - small dark [red] bill, blackish underside of the primaries

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelF View Post
    It's a Black-headed Gull - small dark [red] bill, blackish underside of the primaries
    What about the others?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old World Warbler View Post
    What about the others?
    Ditto to Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelF View Post
    It's a Black-headed Gull - small dark [red] bill, blackish underside of the primaries
    I think you're extracting more from the photo than is possible! I don't think the bill is necessarily dark nor the underwings (the primary tips would be in any case on Common Gull). I wouldn't rule out Black-headed Gull from this photo but neither would I rule out Common Gull.

    OWW - I'd suggest a different approach to identifying your birds. Have a really good look at the birds in the field, noting down what you see, comparing them with text and illustrations in a good field guide and (preferably) talking them through with a more experienced birder. Taking photos and posting them online for an ID can be useful as a last resort, but if you haven't done the rest first you won't learn anything from it.

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    OWW - I'd suggest a different approach to identifying your birds. Have a really good look at the birds in the field, noting down what you see, comparing them with text and illustrations in a good field guide and (preferably) talking them through with a more experienced birder. Taking photos and posting them online for an ID can be useful as a last resort, but if you haven't done the rest first you won't learn anything from it.[/QUOTE]

    I have no access to an experienced birder and my field guide is a bit rusty. I am very inexperienced and not too knowledgable on the topic. The Internet is quick, easy and gets my questions answered.

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    I thoroughly agree with all of Dave's comments. There's no substitute for field experience, and you'll amass a lot of dodgy IDs before you start to get halfway decent. The 'internet approach' to identification is a quick and seductive option but teaches you very little.

    Have you thought about joining a local bird group, perhaps your local RSPB group? I started out (back in the seventies, frightening) by joining what was then the Young Ornithologists' Club, from there connected with a 'mentor' who was willing to teach me the necessary skills and then started staying regularly at my nearest Bird Observatory. These were, and still are, a fabulous learning environment. Forty years on I'm still learning, and making mistakes, but that's the fun of it. Failing that, why not head out to one of the bigger RSPB or WWT reserves, sit in a fairly populated hide and simply ask for help when you need it? Most people will remember the days when they were in a similar position and be only too willing to assist.

    It will be interesting to know what field guide you are using, since you imply you aren't finding it that useful. There are LOADS of good ones, and someone here will gladly point you in the right direction.
    Last edited by Russ Heselden; November 1st, 2011 at 11:36 PM. Reason: Additional thoughts

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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ Heselden View Post
    I thoroughly agree with all of Dave's comments. There's no substitute for field experience, and you'll amass a lot of dodgy IDs before you start to get halfway decent. The 'internet approach' to identification is a quick and seductive option but teaches you very little.

    Have you thought about joining a local bird group, perhaps your local RSPB group? I started out (back in the seventies, frightening) by joining what was then the Young Ornithologists' Club, from there connected with a 'mentor' who was willing to teach me the necessary skills and then started staying regularly at my nearest Bird Observatory. These were, and still are, a fabulous learning environment. Forty years on I'm still learning, and making mistakes, but that's the fun of it. Failing that, why not head out to one of the bigger RSPB or WWT reserves, sit in a fairly populated hide and simply ask for help when you need it? Most people will remember the days when they were in a similar position and be only too willing to assist.

    It will be interesting to know what field guide you are using, since you imply you aren't finding it that useful. There are LOADS of good ones, and someone here will gladly point you in the right direction.

    excellent advice,just how i started at 12.
    regards darrell j prest

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    If you need a new guide then get this

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