Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Knock, Knock, Knock

This past Saturday, suffering from a big of cabin fever I grabbed the camera and binocular and set off for the river valley, hoping to get a couple shots of the river. I hadn't been down to this particular area since last Spring, all the more reason in my book to get out and explore. On this occasion I wasn't alone, as Nicholas decided to come along with me. I was fortunate to have the extra pair of eyes as it turned out.

It was later in the afternoon and a bit chilly so we didn't make it down into the valley before starting to feel the cold. On our way there we did make a new discovery. I was pointing out a red-headed woodpecker to Nicholas so he could get a look at it through the binoculars when he swung the glasses around behind me. "Whoa, Daddy! Look at the size of that bird!"

Thinking at first that, well of course, a bird is going to look bigger through binoculars, I looked up in the direction Nicholas was pointing the glasses and saw a HUGE woodpecker, much bigger than either of us had ever seen before. A look through the guidebook once I got home revealed it to be a Pileated Woodpecker, though at the moment I was convinced we had stumbled on the Godzilla of woodpeckers. Nicholas got a kick out of the sound it made (like the tree was being hit with a big hammer, as he explained to me) as well as all the big pieces of back that came falling down as the bird searched for a snack.

Not the best of photos but hopefully enough detail to make it out.

It was cold but Nicholas was a good little trooper and eager to tell everyone about our little discovery when we got home.


Clare said...

Pileated Woodpeckers are a great bird, and surprisingly common for such a large bird. They (or the Ivory-billed Woodpecker) were the inspiration for Woody Woodpecker.

What was the other woodpecker? Hairy? Downy? Something else?

Way Way Up said...

I'm not 100% sure about the first woodpecker as I didn't get a great look because of the distance. My guess is probably Downy but then we were so distracted by the Pileated....