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 Post subject: Basically I was called full of mierda...
PostPosted: August 20th, 2017, 11:44 pm 
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Joined: June 9th, 2010, 9:57 pm
Posts: 475
Location: Ohio, then Arizona, now South Australia
I enjoy all of the different animal forums here and thought I'd add a bird sighting from long ago in the early '90's. It was early morning (summer, don't remember the month) and I was driving up the Mt. Hopkins Rd. in the Santa Rita Mtns. of AZ. I stopped when I noticed a different looking bird land in a dead roadside tree at lower elevation. I CAN identify most all of the local southern AZ birds, having lived in Tucson for 30 years. The bird I saw alight only 30 feet away was definitely a White-headed woodpecker. Probably a female, as I don't recall seeing any red marking on the head. But did I have a camera with me? Hell no! I called the University of Arizona ornithology dept. the next day to report the sighting and was met with some rude bitch who basically called me a liar. Oh well, I realize that's how it goes with birding - no pics, no validity. Ahh, had I only had my camera and telephoto lens. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! The end... And just for the heck of it, I also saw a Virginia opossum on that same road one night - WTH was that doing there?!


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 Post subject: Re: Basically I was called full of mierda...
PostPosted: August 21st, 2017, 10:30 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:14 pm
Posts: 490
JM,
There are snobs in all walks of life with birders being no exception. Of course, off the wall sighting should be held with some degree of skepticism but outright rejection has frequently proven to be folly.

In 1989, a Gyrfalcon was sighted at the Finley National Wildlife Refuges by some very good local birders during the Audubon Christmas bird count. They reported their observation, with the considerable details required, to the Oregon Bird Records Committee in Portland who reject the sightings. Those snobs indicated the species did not occur in Oregon. There is more to the story but I won’t elaborate.

But now years later, the Gyrfalcon is known to be a regular, winter migrant to Oregon with this state being the normal southerly extension of the species’ winter range.

About 6 – 8 years ago, just west of the Corvallis, Oregon airport, a Crested Caracara was sighted. Talk about off the wall sightings but in that case, many individuals came to see and photograph the Caracara.

On a somewhat similar note, there also are snobs in the herping community. In 1999, when asked to peer review drafts of my manuscripts, five of six professional herpetologists rejected my proposal that a here-to-fore overlooked new species of Sharp-tailed Snake occurs in Oregon and California.

Richard F. Hoyer ( Corvallis, Oregon)


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 Post subject: Re: Basically I was called full of mierda...
PostPosted: August 21st, 2017, 7:15 pm 
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Joined: June 9th, 2010, 9:57 pm
Posts: 475
Location: Ohio, then Arizona, now South Australia
Thanks Richard, and I do understand her doubt involved in my sighting. I guess I just let someone with a rude attitude get to me. The lady insisted I would have seen an Acorn Woodpecker - uh, ok lady, whatever. Not like I hadn't seen many dozens of those. Bottom line - no proof, sighting worthless. And congratulations re the Contia!!


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 Post subject: Re: Basically I was called full of mierda...
PostPosted: August 22nd, 2017, 9:04 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:14 pm
Posts: 490
John,
I will be copying your original message to my son Rich Jr. of Tucson. Rich is a professional birding guide for Wings, Inc. of Tucson. Right now he is leading a tour here in Oregon and will be back in Corvallis on the 27th. and then back to Tucson. I think he would be interested in your sighting.

The White-headed Woodpecker is so distinctive, it is unimaginable that the species could be confused with any other species of woodpecker.

Richard FH


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 Post subject: Re: Basically I was called full of mierda...
PostPosted: August 23rd, 2017, 11:06 pm 
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Joined: June 9th, 2010, 9:57 pm
Posts: 475
Location: Ohio, then Arizona, now South Australia
Hi again Richard. Yes, I'm sure he would be interested but even the details are hazy in my old memory bank now. I was keeping a (more or less herp) diary at the time but for some reason never made note of the bird sighting. Like I said, I can only narrow it down to a spring/summer in probably 1991-1993 time frame. I stopped my vehicle immediately when I saw it land on the dead snag and sat there observing it until it flew away (probably 5-6 minutes) because I knew it was something I hadn't seen before. So I DID get a very good look and it was definitely a White-headed. To this day I am so bummed that I didn't have my usual camera gear along. Tell Rich Jr. he is welcome to PM me anytime! :)


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