Friday, May 15, 2015

Walking it back

On Sunday I reported seeing a red-headed woodpecker in the environs of Rouge River Bird Observatory (see prior blog entry) and also reported hearing, but never seeing, a pileated woodpecker.

Yesterday, I worked near the RRBO so after work I went back to have a look around.  Earlier I texted Julie Craves and learned that the red-headed woodpecker had been seen by others but not on Thursday, and that my pileated woodpecker report had not been confirmed by anyone else.  She also mentioned that birding was slow.  But I was close so I visited anyway.  I rarely, if ever, get a chance to go birding after work. 

Nicely posed Gray Catbird

At the red-headed woodpecker location, a pair of vocal red-bellied woodpeckers were busy feeding a family.  Of the two, the male bird was more active.  My vague hope that the red-headed would still be around never materialized.  

While listening, watching and waiting, I heard a northern flicker give it's skeew call. I had not heard a flicker in this location on Sunday. Hmmm ... did I really hear a flicker on Sunday and not a pileated? When I got home I listened to the call and drumming of both birds. It's not entirely clear that a pileated did not make the Sunday vocalizations, but no one else has heard or seen a pileated in this location.  I walked back my eBird report of hearing a pileated woodpecker on Sunday. Just call me Jeb Bush.  

Having done many breeding bird surveys it's always thrilling to find an active nest such as this blue-gray gnatcatcher nest.  That's the female's tail sticking out on the left.   

The star of the evening , and a bird I love, was a cooperative Swainson's Thrush hopping along the trial finding food and occasionally posing from the logs that line the trail's edges.  These are a few of the many photos I took. 

Arriving back home I was greeted by a baltimore oriole on the new feeder I have.  This is my first experience with an oriole feeder.  A bit messy but it seems to be worth the effort.

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