Saturday, October 10, 2015

When Nature Calls

It was not my plan to do a post today.  But while sitting on my porch yesterday something caught my attention and deserved to be shared.  It wasn't just what I saw but what I heard (now does the title When Nature Calls make sense?).  After getting a great look in my binoculars, video taping his chirp for auditory reference, and snapping a photo with my cell phone through a window I determined I was hearing and seeing a pair of Downy Woodpeckers.  Oh how I wish I had had my big girl camera. Here is the male in all his blurry glory.  See that little red patch on the back of his head?  Male.

Tiny little guy only 6 inches or so.

Today with my camera I have been waiting for the pair to make another appearance so I can get some better shots.  But this time it was a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers that found their way into the yard.  This is the female.  That's not a red leaf on her head.

The males have red on their necks as well which this one did not.  These woodpeckers are much bigger and easier to spot at 16-19 inches tall with  a 29 inch wing span.

After watching her for a minute she took flight with feet dangling and wings spread.

My woodpecker adventures do not stop here, however.  My day developed a theme. Next up, swooping into the same tree the Pileated Woodpecker was favoring, flew a Yellow-shafted Flicker.  Look at those amazing spots.

And that black mustache stripe told me he was a male.

And the lovely red "V" patch on the nape of his neck is so bright.  They are not as large as the Pileated, but still a good size at 13 inches tall and 20 inch wingspan.

 What next, you ask?  More?  Yes.  A male Red-Bellied Woodpecker.  What a parade!

Stunning color and boy is he loud.  He is medium sized like the Flicker at 10ish inches, but by far the noisiest.

And how did it end?  Right back where it all started.  As I was walking in from shooting, in the same tree I spotted the male in yesterday, was a Downy Woodpecker.  I got my big girl camera shots after all.

This time it was a female with no red patch.

So nature called with its thrumming of a single woodpeckers beak, I listened and was greatly rewarded for my attention with 4 great sightings and photo opportunities.  Now back to what I was planning to do with my day.