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  Topic: Wildlife, What's in your back yard?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5378
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 18 2008,17:16   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 18 2008,17:12)
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 18 2008,04:56)
The woodpeckers are not shy this morning.  In the last hour or so, I've heard through my window the calls of a Red Bellied, a Northern Flicker, and a Pileated.

I listened to the Plileated pecking for a while, matched the sound on the Cornell Ornithology site, then got out the 10X50s and crept to the window for a look.  I located the general area way up on a pine tree along the back tree line, but he was behind a bough and all I could get was little pieces of him.  Then a little flash of movement caught my eye just to the left, so I moved the field of view a little to see what it was.

There on the trunk of an adjacent tree was a perfect shadow of him in the morning sun, and I watched him pecking around for a little while, in shadow.  I really wish I had a nice long-lens SLR.  The shot would have been beautiful.

That's an amazing coincidence, since I saw my first Pileated woodpecker this weekend -- Saturday and Sunday.

Staying in cabins in the Santa Cruz mountains, I was sort of half-dozing at about 7am when I heard a loud "BAK BAK BAK BAK BAK BAK" that sounded really close by. I sleepily got up to see what kind of bird it was, not expecting much, when I looked thru the front window of the cabin, and the big guy was no more than 10 feet in front of me. He was alternating between running up and down an oak tree and picking for food inside a fire pit in the campsite. All in all he gave me a nice, 6 minute long look at him.

Then this morning he reappeared at the same time and did exactly the same thing, for about 3 minutes. Also I kept hearing his hammering all morning. Now I know what they sound like.

I know this isn't a big deal for folks in the Eastern US, but Pileateds are *not* common in California. After 25+ years of birding in Calif., it's the first one I've seen. I had no idea they had them in Santa Cruz County -- it appears to be on the extreme southern tip of their West Coast range.

Funny, 'cause I'd never seen one until I moved here.  Of course, I never really paid a great deal of attention before that, I don't think.

If I happened to notice a blue jay, it was worth noting to someone later in the day.

"Hey, I saw a blue jay earlier."
"Doesn't take much to impress you, does it?"
"But he was right there in the yard!"
"You're an idiot."
"I saw a Cardinal, too."
"I'm gonna go watch paint dry."
"Hey they're pretty rare!"
"No, Cardinals are pretty common."
"This one had lasers for eyes."

Edited by Lou FCD on May 18 2008,18:44

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

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