Double Trouble on a Winter Day

The sun was shining and that meant get outside into the woods. Plus I was inspired by Stephen who is also a big fan of the birds.

Off to the park I went in search of the Caramel Crow. Huge surge of folks had been checking out my article about the Leucistic crows in the park. You can check them out at this link if you want a refresher…. Caramel Crows of Lincoln Park. Plus here is a photo from that March post.

Leucistic Crow close up – buffy chest, white wings & dark face and legs

Birds are not always where you want them to be. The “sport” of bird watching is more of a serendipity thing instead of planning exactly who you will see. So, it was no surprise that the caramel crows were not showing off their fine feathers.

That sent me prowling around the wooded area paths in the park. Figured I could avoid more folks that way and not have to wear my buff over my face. I saw a number of little birds troop through the brush lead by a Chickadee. Instead of dealing with my camera I just enjoyed their little song as they worked the area for bugs.

Then I saw some bigger birds hanging out. My first thought was a flock of winter Robins. I was wrong.. but actually pretty close because they were Varied Thrushes who are the same size and color. They were keeping company with Chickadees, Wrens, and Sparrows. I hung out with my camera but they were all skittish and moving quickly from place to place. Here is the best shot I got of the Thrush.

Varied Thrush digging for bugs.

Got to the bluff trail and went to check on the snag tree that big birds of prey, aka Eagles, Hawks and Osprey, frequent. I was not disappointed this time. There was the park’s eagle pair just hanging out and cleaning their feathers in the winter sunshine. Told quite a few folks to look up for a peek at them. Most were intent on where they were going or their family or arrrggg the cell phone.

There is this little glen of trees that make me think of Lord of the Rings. I wandered over there and cut thru them using the path least used. This is the place I have seen Nuthatches before.

Decided to hang a bit and hoped for a sighting. Leaning against a tree I heard a soft tapping. Kept looking up as families walked by me without noticing me just off the trail. Can’t say this enough that I am disappointed in how unobservant most folks are. They just walk in a straight line and don’t listen or look around them.

No Birds or Critters popped out of canopy, so I moved a bit towards the trail to head home. Then I heard the sound get louder coming from a dead tree on the other side of the trail. There was a big woodpecker with a red head pounding away.

Woodpecker working on his dinner.

I proceeded to lean against a tree to get a stable zoom from my camera and got a few still photos and video. The funny thing is the stills were blurry not because of me but due to the persistant pecking for bugs. They are like little electrified hammers.

Female Pileated Woodpecker looking for a better place to hammer

At last I got my camera stable by putting it right on the tree next to me. I got my body also stable against the trunk. My video was going great when a surprise visitor came into the viewfinder on the left side of the tree stump. Check it out!!

I got so excited that I got this great video with both of the woodpeckers in it. That was when I noticed that not everyone had just ignored me. A gentleman with a huge telephoto camera and his wife with binoculars were enjoying the show too. They were in the middle of the trail and now folks were noticing. However, a lot still just walked around them and did not say a word. UGGGG!!!

Double Trouble!!

I had a nice chat with the bird loving couple. He showed me a photo that made him think the male at least was a youngster from this summers hatchlings. He had that fussy head notch that an immature bird would have. We had a happy moment together in a great bird moment with this double trouble pair.

Male Pileated Woodpecker – Maybe a youngster?

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