Sunday, July 12, 2009

Looking for #250

My wife wasn't in the mood for birding yesterday but I decided to go out early to look for Red-cockaded Woodpeckers in the W G Jones forest. We had gone there together in June on an unsuccessful search for this highly endangered bird.)

I reached the site at 7:15 and walked the forest trails for the next 90 minutes without spotting a Red-cockaded. In fact, I only saw a total of seven birds: a Broad-winged Hawk, two N. Cardinals, two Eastern Bluebirds and two Red-headed Woodpeckers. So much for the benefits of ealy morning birding!

At 8:45, I started walking back to the car, stopping along the way to photograph the sign below as a memento of my trip.

As I took the photo, I noticed a movement high up in a nearby tree. Although the bird flew away almost immediately, I got a good enough look through my binoculars to see it had the distinctive almost all-white face of the Red-cockaded.

It would have been nice to get a photo of this my 250th species of 2009; however, it was already getting hot and so I continued walking back to the car. Then I noticed a movement on the trunk of another tree. A look through my viewfinder showed it was another Red-cockaded and I was able to grab two photos before it flew off. As you can see below, the photos are just clear enough to confirm the bird's ID.


Birdwoman said...

Congratulations on bagging your woodpecker. My daughter and I went on an early morning walk in mid-winter at Jones a few years ago and we saw SIX of the little critters in one area! We considered ourselves extraordinarily lucky.

Jeff said...

Six on one day is brilliant! I've never seen more than two in a day.

On my last two visits, I've been surprised by how few birds I've seen. Perhaps it's because of the heat. I used to see lots of species there but I think that was October-April.