May 04, 2021

Lesser Goldfinch

ID Notes:
The photos show the yellow undertail coverts of Lesser rather than white on American. Also the upperparts are more olive green and wing bars are slightly reduced (and have the white mark at the base of the outer primaries).

The vocalizations recorded are also distinctive for Lesser Goldfinch, including some of the descending clear calls that they frequently make. The vocalizations are actually often the best way to detect a Lesser Goldfinch once you become familiar with the calls they make!

Posted on May 04, 2021 15:16 by williamkimzey williamkimzey | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 01, 2021

starting on gulls

Bonaparte: "A small, ternlike gull, with slender bill, rather narrow, pointed wings, and slim body."
If I see a black head (breeding adult), then it would have been easier.

On recent Orcas trip saw Mew Gulls:
black wing tips, small

The other small one with black wing tips is Ring Billed. I see those nesting near freshwater Lake Washington.

California gulls are bigger. Like Glaucous Wing.

Posted on March 01, 2021 17:04 by williamkimzey williamkimzey | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 27, 2020

greater or lesser yellow legs


  • (very) slightly upturned bill
  • 2-toned bill
  • length of bill

Posted on December 27, 2020 16:48 by williamkimzey williamkimzey | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 13, 2020

Meadowhawks -- Sympetrum


Striped Meadowhawk - S. pallipes - striped thorax

"S. pallipes varies in a number of ways (geographically, individually, and with age). The pale thoracic stripes often darken and become very obscure with age—particularly late in the season. And the angle in this photo is not very helpful for assessing the thoracic pattern. So, just because pale thoracic stripes are not obvious on an individual, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t this species" @jimjohnson Curator

Cardinal Meadowhawk - S. illotum

Autumn Meadowhawk - plain thorax

(BTW I love that genus common name.)
Is it a useful distinction (between striped and autumn Meadowhawks) that the Autumn Meadowhawk has a more pronounced spot on the front edge of each wing, towards the tip? @jimjohnson ppt says a "small amber patch" on leading edge, but with Striped meadowhawk there is the "maybe" distinction and with Autumn presumably it must always be present.
Answers: "In the case of the female (which this is), the scooped-shaped subgenital plate is diagnostic." arrowheadspiketail58
"Structural characters are always best when they are visible in photos." jimjohnson

Posted on October 13, 2020 17:29 by williamkimzey williamkimzey | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 05, 2020

Flower Flies, Hover Flies: family Syrphidae

Family Syrphidae (Flower Flies or Hover Flies)
Guide from @edanko:

"Hoverflies are important pollinators of flowering plants in many ecosystems worldwide. Syrphid flies are frequent flower visitors to a wide range of wild plants, as well as agricultural crops, and are often considered the second-most important group of pollinators after wild bees. However, relatively little research into fly pollinators has been conducted compared with bee species. Bees are thought to be able to carry a greater volume of pollen on their bodies, but flies may be able to compensate for this by making a greater number of flower visits.

Like many pollinator groups, syrphid flies range from species that take a generalist approach to foraging by visiting a wide range of plant species through those that specialize in a narrow range of plants. Although hoverflies are often considered mainly nonselective pollinators, some hoverflies species are highly selective and carry pollen from one plant species. Cheilosia albitarsis is thought to only visit Ranunculus repens.

Specific flower preferences differ among species, but syrphid fly species have repeatedly been shown to prefer white- and yellow-coloured flowers.
Larvae of many hoverfly species prey upon pest insects, including aphids and leafhoppers.

With a few exceptions hoverflies are distinguished from other flies by having a spurious vein, located parallel to their fourth longitudinal wing vein." - Wikipedia

  • Common Drone fly. (Eristalis tenax) really looks like honey bee
  • type of drone fly, tribe Milesiini, Chriorhinina, Yellowjacket flies, Genus Sphecomyia
    Patton's Yellowjacket Fly
  • type of drone fly, also Milesiini, Chriorhinina, Bumble Flies, Genus Criorhina
    In Redmond Watershed Preserve. "the woods".
  • Tribe Bachhini "small, elongated, slender"
    Variable Duskyface fly, Genus Melanostoma
  • Tribe Syrphini - Hover flies
    American Thintail Meliscaeva cinctella
  • Needs ID (or photo inadequate)
    First of spring (Redmond Watershed Preserve):
    looking a bit like small bumble bee. didn't see the hovering.

  • Posted on October 05, 2020 23:58 by williamkimzey williamkimzey | 3 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

    downloading IDs

    1. high level filter search they way you like
    2. download is on search menu (bottom right)
    3. select columns
      Geo: "place guess"
      Taxon: All

    4. export
    5. download the export (I forget this step)

    url to filter my observations ID'd by @edanko

    Posted on October 05, 2020 16:54 by williamkimzey williamkimzey | 0 comments | Leave a comment

    August 02, 2020

    duck notes

    Hooded merganser: juvenile male has almost black feet

    Gadwall: black tail is striking. white patch on flying bird. white belly/flying.

    Mallards and Gadwalls are dabblers

    Posted on August 02, 2020 16:58 by williamkimzey williamkimzey | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment

    May 30, 2020


    From curator @jimjohnson:

    @williamkimzey those species are not found in North America. These are Boreal or Northern Bluet (Enallagma boreale or annexum), and a very close view of the male cerci is required to differentiate them. It's almost always impossible to do with photos aside from the most exceptional cases. Females are impossible to differentiate except in-hand

    @williamkimzey bluets (Enallagma) are a type of damselfly. There is a British/American difference in the common name—Americans tend to use different names for some of the genera (e.g. Enallagma/Coenagrion = “bluet”, Ischnura = “forktail”), but in Britain they are mostly just “damselfly”.

    It’s important to keep in mind that many of the suggestions offered by iNaturalist don’t occur here, since geography is not taken into account. It’s good to do a little bit of research before accepting the top species in the list.
    Ischnura = "forktail"

    Posted on May 30, 2020 19:30 by williamkimzey williamkimzey | 4 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

    May 12, 2020


    My starting point is Pacific Coast Fern Finder by Keator and Heady.


    1. Why do some sword ferns have fiddleheads and others not?
      I think this question has the same answer: why are some sword ferns smaller, lighter green, with no fiddleheads?
      The answer to both must be maturity. Because I haven't found a different sword fern species common in PNW, and everything else matches sword fern.

    2. I looked at a lot of pinnae this week (early May) and didn't see a lot of sori. Looking mostly like at lady fern. Fronds already grown out to a couple feet long. When do sorus form?
    Since many spores ripen in late summer, this is a good time to be checking the back sides of your fern fronds. When they are ripe, they generally look plump, and raised up. If the sori have already shed their spore, they will appear flat and dark.
    1. Need to see an example of when one frond is completely sterile, and another isn't.
    Deer fern photo of mature male frond w/o sori. Also: 1-pinnately divided frond. Deer browse in winter because they stay green. Frond narrows both toward tip and toward base.
    The unique part is they are fully connected to the stem at the leaf base instead of on mini stems. Licorice Fern is fully connected too (see Bonus section) but it only grows in single fronds, not clusters, and only on vertical surfaces like cliffs.
    Licorice fern is "also unique in that it only grows in single fronds (which are connected by a rhizome running through the moss) rather than in a cluster of fronds like most ferns." Holly ferns are 1-divided fronds (like sword and deer ferns) and have holly shaped leaf.
    1. I believe I read somewhere that pinnae shape can reflect frond shape... tapering.
      Lady fern "are widest in the middle and then taper to the base."

    Spreading wood fern. 1-divided fronds (I could see). Even if margin is quite serrated. The indusia are supposed to be horseshoe shape, can't tell from blow up phone photo. (Hard to use good camera on sori w/o breaking off pinnae.) Not sword fern because no hilt or "projection at base of pinnae." Finally, broad triangle shaped frond. The thing that was quite distinct, and noticed a lot of, was not mentioned in the fern finder was the consistent asymmetry of pinnae length for base pair. ( does point out assymetry)

    Posted on May 12, 2020 23:00 by williamkimzey williamkimzey | 9 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

    May 02, 2020

    not a fly

    "note the long antenna"

    Posted on May 02, 2020 14:48 by williamkimzey williamkimzey | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment