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Scottish Birds 1 (1 Viewer)

Muso

Well-known member
Scotland
Hi all

When I first joined this forum, I may well have asked for ID for a lot of (to you) really obvious birds. However, through your expertise, support and help, I got a bit better at ID, bought books etc, and can now ID most of the birds I come across. And became infinitely more interested. Many thanks.

Then I came across a few posts basically shooting me and others like me down for asking, and worse, for being photographers, when the solution should have been obvious, or research would have provided the answer. So I stopped asking.

However, the expertise and guidance I've observed so far makes me think I'm not wasting all of your time, and sometimes I genuinely don't really know what the question is.

For example, Jane's sticky, which I've read through, and is great, divides into categories of birds, so you need to know what you're looking for (Old world passerines, new world passerines....eh, what?). And sometimes some birds look like others. Depending on the time of year. And the age of the bird. I've given up on gulls completely. So, in advance I apologise for my ignorance, however I have expertise in other areas, so not a complete waste.

I do apologise for all the waffle above, but I was put off asking for help by some of the posts I came across. Been through my Collins, my RSBP handbook of Scottish birds, my AA Field Guide to Birds of Britain and Europe, countless Google searches, countless Bird ID websites (colour of beak, feathers, legs etc), Google photo comparison and none the wiser. Sparrows was the best answer to most of these searches...I throw myself on your mercy.

1: not sure if Diver or Grebe - east coast of Scotland (Golspie) April 2016
2: This was taken just down the drystane dyke from No3. Islay, June 2019
3: Minutes after No 2, so feel related. Feel somehow embarrassed over this one, as I feel I should know this. Islay, June 2019
4: Far away, heavily cropped - fellow birder stopped on the road, and felt these were Scaup because of the pix I'd taken. Islay, June 2019
 

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ChrisKten

It's true, I quite like Pigeons
There's always someone willing to help, Ian, so feel free to ask for help, mate (not from me though, I'm limited to probably less than 20 species I can safely ID ;) ).

It's unfortunate that prats in real life become "Keyboard Warriors" on line, many of them spent much of their life looking at the ground while they walked, fearing to look others in the eye - then the Internet gave them a new lease of life. So don't lose sleep over any trolls in the forum, many still haven't gotten over having their dinner money stolen from them at school each day ;)

This forum grew from (amongst other things) being a useful, polite (mostly) resource, not from basically telling people to RTFM.

(I know, a bit of a troll-like provocative post - I'll add a smiley in case I've upset anyone)

;)
 

Sangahyando

Well-known member
I do apologise for all the waffle above, but I was put off asking for help by some of the posts I came across. Been through my Collins, my RSBP handbook of Scottish birds, my AA Field Guide to Birds of Britain and Europe, countless Google searches, countless Bird ID websites (colour of beak, feathers, legs etc), Google photo comparison and none the wiser. Sparrows was the best answer to most of these searches...I throw myself on your mercy.
That's a good approach. Even if you get a lot of wrong results at the beginning, the important part is that you tried it, and keep trying, and that's what most forum members would like to see (it's just that some may be less eloquent at expressing it). Better results will come with experience, and even when you're reasonably certain of an ID, it doesn't hurt to ask - as long as it's evident that you've made an effort.
 
Listen, I'm still learning all the time and I regularly ask for identifications that I should really have known - but you know what? Just ask! If you feel a bit embarrassed that you should've known then so what - next time you will be more educated.

The guys on here are great and, even though they must get a bit fed up of identifying another Linnet, or Dunnock or Juvenile Starling, they are quite happy to help.

Of course, if a member is regularly asking questions rather than trying to identify the bird themselves using their own initiative/field guide/google (I have been this person on more than one occasion) then I'd suggest that that person at least make a suggestion as to what they think it is. But be prepared to be wrong - even VERY wrong on occasions, but you will earn respect for having a go.

Heck, the experts on here - and I'm not being sarcastic here at all as I really respect the guys on this forum - can even get it wrong at times :t:
 

Mark Lew1s

My real name is Mark Lewis
Velvet scoter on an inland waterbody on Islay in July is a very interesting record - well worth informing the county recorder.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Hi all

When I first joined this forum, I may well have asked for ID for a lot of (to you) really obvious birds. However, through your expertise, support and help, I got a bit better at ID, bought books etc, and can now ID most of the birds I come across. And became infinitely more interested. Many thanks.

Then I came across a few posts basically shooting me and others like me down for asking, and worse, for being photographers, when the solution should have been obvious, or research would have provided the answer. So I stopped asking.

The only photographers that get sniped at, often by me, are those who just want to label their birds but otherwise have little interest.

You've clearly taken steps to ID your own birds and people like that, even if you're wrong, you've show some effort.

My other bugbear is bad photos, very bad some of them and pointless being posted IMHO but that is a personal view which some agree with and some don't.

In short, you're welcome to post the stuff you're not sure of (not that you need my permission!), you've had a good go yourself, bought a book and the shots you post are ID'able which a lot aren't so crack on and keep doing what you're doing.
 

Mike C

Emeritus President at Burnage Rugby Club
Muso,

some decent images there, nice one.

Can I recommend the Merlin I.D. App. from Cornell University. Definitely available from Apple Store and I imagine from what ever the android shop is called.
I'm pretty sure it would have answered your questions. That said, some interaction is always welcome and thanks for sharing.

As an example, I took a snap shot from my PC screen with my iPhone of your second picture and the App. said Northern Wheatear
 

Dougie Preston

I live for this S**T
And, yes I'd second the idea of reporting the sighting to the local recorder, as it's def an interesting location and date for a Velvet!
 

Muso

Well-known member
Scotland
Hi all

I contacted the local recorder, and the male velvet scoter is paired with the female common scoter, and they have been there a few years.

Cheers

Ian
 

Aladdin

Registered User
Supporter
Thailand
Hi all

When I first joined this forum, I may well have asked for ID for a lot of (to you) really obvious birds. However, through your expertise, support and help, I got a bit better at ID, bought books etc, and can now ID most of the birds I come across. And became infinitely more interested. Many thanks.

Then I came across a few posts basically shooting me and others like me down for asking, and worse, for being photographers, when the solution should have been obvious, or research would have provided the answer. So I stopped asking.

However, the expertise and guidance I've observed so far makes me think I'm not wasting all of your time, and sometimes I genuinely don't really know what the question is.

For example, Jane's sticky, which I've read through, and is great, divides into categories of birds, so you need to know what you're looking for (Old world passerines, new world passerines....eh, what?). And sometimes some birds look like others. Depending on the time of year. And the age of the bird. I've given up on gulls completely. So, in advance I apologise for my ignorance, however I have expertise in other areas, so not a complete waste.

I do apologise for all the waffle above, but I was put off asking for help by some of the posts I came across. Been through my Collins, my RSBP handbook of Scottish birds, my AA Field Guide to Birds of Britain and Europe, countless Google searches, countless Bird ID websites (colour of beak, feathers, legs etc), Google photo comparison and none the wiser. Sparrows was the best answer to most of these searches...I throw myself on your mercy.

1: not sure if Diver or Grebe - east coast of Scotland (Golspie) April 2016
2: This was taken just down the drystane dyke from No3. Islay, June 2019
3: Minutes after No 2, so feel related. Feel somehow embarrassed over this one, as I feel I should know this. Islay, June 2019
4: Far away, heavily cropped - fellow birder stopped on the road, and felt these were Scaup because of the pix I'd taken. Islay, June 2019

I have had a lot of help here to identify birds on my pictures. And even members that have going the extra mile to explain the difference between, e.g. Common Tern and Arctic.

I have had a lot of help regarding gulls from the Gull experts. Making it easier for me next time I see the birds. But I must confess, sometimes when I learn I only get more confused

I use to say that joining birdforum have been the best thing since I started to look at birds. And I take this opportunity to thank all the members here for all the help.

Kind regards and happy birding
Aladdin
 

Muso

Well-known member
Scotland
Thanks to all

Please don't misunderstand me - I have had a lot of help from members with ID, behavioural questions etc. And have greatly appreciated all the help and PM conversations (not necessarily about birding) with members I've gotten to know over the years. And it has helped my knowledge to grow, ID skills etc. And just my sheer enjoyment of nature. The posts I mentioned were not directed specifically at me, but I did recognise myself in them. And they made me think at the time that those who had helped me previously were just too polite to tell me I was a royal pain...

Often my problems with ID are that I just don't know where to begin. Often out and about it's a fleeting moment (more often than not backlit!) and my camera is a great tool, as I can research after the fact, whereas without a photo I'd be completely lost (also carry binocs for those not so rushed moments...). And, as with most things, the more I learn, the more I realise what I don't know.

For example, I would have been fairly confident I could ID a Wheatear, and yet failed to ID pic number 3 in the first post. None of the books I mentioned above portray it like that, and none of the search terms I used in google helped. The attached images are what I see in my head when I think Wheatear in spring/summer. Clearly still a ways to go!

Thanks to all who responded so positively. Your help & support is greatly appreciated.

Best

Ian
 

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