Date: 2/10/19 9:24 am
From: Pete Sole <pete...>
Subject: Re: [MBBIRDS] Immature Bald Eagle, others
Thanks Melanie, also thanks to Lois for the confirmations.

It's interesting. The only reason I was able to get the photos was
because I had already pulled over to the side of the road and was all
set up to photograph.... GREATER WHITE FRONTED GEESE, in a distant
partially flooded field.

All of a sudden the geese, gadwall, mallards, and peeps that I was
watching exploded up into the air. I remember thinking in quick
succession; "take a look around, there must be a raptor in the air,
probably a Peregrine..." "Wait, a Peregrine shouldn't scare geese..."
"Aha! There's an eagle in the sky that explains it all."  To add to the
confusion, I was talking on the phone with Nancy at the time, and the
next storm was rolling in. I hastily hung up with Nancy, and started to
photograph the eagle. I was pretty sure it was an immature at the time,
and given the darkness of the sky and bird, I recorded it as a golden
eagle. But I had doubts. I figured I would confirm the id from images
once I was home, with plenty of references to consult. After I looked at
the images and books, it became clear that I'd photographed an imm. BALD
EAGLE.  My first for the year. Wonder if it fledged in county...

A few "lessons" from this little story:
1. Yes, when the birds explode into the sky around you, scan for
raptors. You will rarely be disappointed.
2. If geese fly, it's likely that an eagle flushed it.
3. If in doubt of the id, snap pictures and confirm later.

And above all, keep birding! It's always fun if you are open to a
different experience than what you went out for.  I went looking for
Scaly-breasted Munia's at Pinto lake (I dipped) and other birds in south
county. Came home with imm BALD EAGLE, WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH, and
other birds.

A few ebird lists from yesterday:

imm Bald Eagle list: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S52521255

White-breasted Nuthatch list: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S52517671

Fun birding,

Pete Sole'
Soquel, CA






On 2/10/19 8:30 AM, Melanie Wirtanen wrote:
> Hi Pete,
>
> With a great photo like yours, easier to see...With a beak like that, definitely an immature Bald...beak turning yellowish and with less white mottling underneath I would guess in its third year.
>
> The beak of a Golden is so much more Hawk-like...
>
> Take care,
>
> Melanie
>
>
>
> Melanie Wirtanen here
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
>> On Feb 9, 2019, at 9:27 PM, Pete Sole <pete...> wrote:
>>
>> Hi birders,
>>
>> I did a bit of south county birding in the morning, before the rains hit this afternoon . Birds of note included:
>>
>> 1 immature BALD EAGLE - I initially recorded it as a Golden Eagle but even at the time was wondering about the id. After reviewing my images, I now believe that it was an imm. Bald Eagle. Wonder if it was the same bird that Lois and friends saw a few days ago near the intersection of Watsonville Slough and San Andreas Rd., by a flooded field . Here is a link to an image of the bird:
>>
>> http://www.lighthousenet.com/photos/birds/documentary/eagle_bald_imm_190209a.jpg
>>
>> 1 WHITE BREASTED NUTHATCH. - Seen on the trees near table 22 at Pinto Lake City park. No images of this bird, but likely the same bird that has been sporadically recorded in the area. Nice to know it is still around.
>>
>> 1 MERLIN - Flying like a straight like a bullet at Pinto Lake City park. My first one of the year.
>>
>> All in all, some nice birding this morning.
>>
>> Pete Sole'
>> Soquel, CA
>>
>>
>>
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