A couple of days in San Francisco over the New Year caused me to reflect on how much information we actually need to identify a bird. Corey’s devilish warbler quizzes have shown that some people, given the tiniest amount of detail, are capable of superhuman feats of recognition.

SFO 30Dec12 Great Egret 01The air was so still at times this week that the reflections were almost perfect, but just a tiny ripple or bubble on the surface of the water causes enough distortion to make identification more of a challenge. Give these a try.

I might be tempted to have a go at the first five, but they become progressively more difficult after that, so I shall leave them to the experts.


SFO 30Dec12 Reflection 05


SFO 30Dec12 Reflection 09


SFO 30Dec12 Reflection 07


SFO 30Dec12 Reflection 11


SFO 30Dec12 Reflection 12

These are trickier, but there are clues if you can pick up on them. Don’t look at them for too long or your eyes will go funny.

As ever, The Management will be furnishing fabulous prizes for anyone who gets them all correct.

They were all taken in San Francisco at the end of December. Best of luck.


SFO 30Dec12 Reflection 01


SFO 30Dec12 Reflection 08


SFO 30Dec12 Reflection 039

SFO 30Dec12 Reflection 04


SFO 30Dec12 Reflection 13

How did you get on?

I only got 8 out of ten and I have the original photographs!

Written by Redgannet
Redgannet worked for more than 35 years as a flight attendant for an international airline. He came to birding late in his career but, considering the distractions, doesn't regret the missed opportunities. He was paid to visit six continents and took full advantage of the chance to bird the world. He adopted the nom de blog, Redgannet, to avoid remonstrations from his overbearing employer, but secretly hoped that the air of mystery would make him more attractive to women. Now grounded, he is looking forward to seeing the seasons turn from a fixed point.