Sunday, October 7, 2007

Why didn't I have my camera?!

I felt a bit bored and restless this afternoon, so I did a short bike ride/birding jaunt through parts of the neighborhood. There was quite a bit of activity around the stables, including the continuing Mountain Chickadee. I've been surprised at how long it has stuck around in such a small area; indeed, this afternoon I saw it only about thirty feet from where I first saw it. It really makes me wonder if perhaps it summered or even bred nearby - they have been known to nest in the lowlands. I've gotten a grand total of one picture of it, and it is an extremely poor one at that - I'm posting it here anyways. As bad as the photo is, it isn't quite bad enough for the bird to pass as an Ivory-billed Woodpecker. :-D

I was in for a big surprise a few minutes later. I was sorting through an assorted flock of Orange-crowned and Yellow-rumped Warblers, Bushtits, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and more near the stables, when suddenly I noticed a mostly black and white bird peering around a tree trunk at me. "Hmm... a woodpecker... Nuttall's?" I thought for a split second until it hitched around onto my side of the tree trunk. A RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER! It hung out for a few minutes just a dozen feet away in great light - and I didn't have my camera. I did get really amazing looks at it though - I even saw the red on its nape! Another lifer for me. I'm going to have to go back in the morning to see if it hangs around its photo to be taken - maybe I can improve on my chickadee picture as well!

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