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  1. J

    Focus on telephoto and video

    I really like the EM-1 mk ii, and I like what the Olympus engineer says about emphasizing telephoto and portability. I hope they do what they say. But their actions do not always match their words. They put their bird autofocus software only in the heaviest and bulkiest micro 4/3 camera they...
  2. J

    Some more hawks

    Ok; since almost immediately deleting something isn't enough for you and you feel the need to make this public, I will explain myself. You are obviously a very knowledgeable birder, and probably know more than me, but to me it's rude to contradict someone without giving a reason. Especially...
  3. J

    Some more hawks

    For the record, that post was there for about five seconds. PM me if you feel the need to discuss further.
  4. J

    Some more hawks

    Ok. Agree with Cooper's. I was focused on it not being a Red-shouldered. I see some adult Cooper's can have brown rather than red barring on the underparts. But the same brown barring is also found on Broad-winged.
  5. J

    Some more hawks

    Broad-winged Hawk for 2-3; Red-shouldered would never have such wide white tail bands, and I see pale windows, not crescents. Not a Cooper's because, well, it's a buteo not an accipiter; note also pointed rather than rounded wings, and barring rather than streaking on the breast.
  6. J

    Some kind of Hawk? - Eastern Ontario, Canada

    Agree with Red-tailed Hawk, which is by far the most common buteo in the region at this time of year. Certainly look like patagial bars to me.
  7. J

    What type of Bee, Essex UK

    It is a fly in the frit or grass fly family, Chloropidae, possibly Thaumatomyia glabra. Very cool.
  8. J

    Sparrow NJ

    Agree with Swamp Sparrow. Lincoln's would have a buffy eye ring as well.
  9. J

    What type of Sparrow

    White-throated and Swamp can be tough to separate sometimes, but that would be an unusually long tail for a Swamp Sparrow. Was the photo taken in a wetland or near water?
  10. J

    What type of Sparrow

    All Song, except #3, for which I'd go for White-throated.
  11. J

    Best light-weight tripod and head for Kowa 883

    I've used the PH157Q two-way head on my 883 for years and it works great for me – in my experience sturdier and/or lighter than Manfrotto heads. I have a carbon fiber Velbon tripod. Nick's calculations suggest you could save considerable weight with these (though I'm not sure if the tripod I...
  12. J

    US dragonfly

    Male Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta)
  13. J

    Ebird - species blurbs

    I just checked the description of Mute Swan, as of this date it says "Native to northern Europe and Asia, but introduced in many regions."
  14. J

    New Olympus 100-400

    I think the premise is dubious--would need to be convinced by tests, and expect it holds true, if at all, in only limited circumstances. For example, I know I get greater hand shake from the fatigue of holding heavier lenses. In any event, if you prefer to haul around more dead weight, go...
  15. J

    Good News - US court helping birds

    It's great, but it's only a District Court opinion. Could be reversed by the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court. And no, I don't think it has anything to do with the wind power exception and the balancing of interests between global warming/pollution reduction and the unfortunate killing of...
  16. J

    New Olympus 100-400

    Despite being slower at low zoom than the PL100-400, it is larger and heavier. So again there is the trend: Olympus makes the heavy lenses but the light bodies, and Panasonic does the reverse. That alone makes me favor the Panasonic lens. And, as I favor Olympus bodies, the fact that it...
  17. J

    Fly of some sort, Wiltshire

    Looks like a tachinid fly.
  18. J

    TSN 773 - any experience?

    I tried a 773 and ended up returning it for an 883. I think one of the main advantages of higher end scopes is the quality of the view at higher magnifications. And I didn't think I was getting that to the same extent with the 773. The 883 is more expensive, but I figured I was going to be...
  19. J

    Great White death, USA

    Indeed. As the article notes it is the first recorded great white attack ever for the entire state of Maine, and only the second recorded shark attack. What is happening, both in Maine and Massachusetts, is that with federal protection of marine mammals that went into effect in 1972, seal...