Skip to main content

American Three-toed Woodpecker


Another early morning for me brings moans and groans and lots of coffee. 3:00 a.m. seems like a good idea the night before, however, if I was going to hear a Marbled Murrelet on Mount Arrowsmith I needed to be on site at dawn. My second serious attempt to hear this small alcid failed again, though I didn’t go completely un-rewarded. Hermit Thrush chorused from the hills along with American Robin and Dark-eyed Junco. At 5:00 a.m. I decided to try tooting for Northern Pygmy-Owl, as this species had evaded me in my survey area. Gray Jays made an appearance first, investigating this strange noise, followed by something I didn’t expect:  American Three-toed Woodpecker! (adult male).
 
Though I had dreamed of adding this species to my Vancouver Island checklist, I didn’t really count on seeing one. But there it was. It landed about thirty metres away on a snag and began to make its way to the top. Raising my binoculars I gasped! I have seen many of these woodpeckers in the interior, in the Okanagan Valley, but none on the island. The bird then flew across the road to another snag. I watched for a minute then quickly opened the trunk of my car to set up my scope. As I fumbled with my scope and camera the bird took flight up the hill and was gone. I marked the location with my GPS then wrote down some notes. Two minutes later another bird vocalized, this one was a Northern Pygmy-Owl! My sighting was posted on the BC Vancouver Island Bird Forum and the following day, Sandy McRuer, a birder from Port Alberni, went to check it out. Luckily, Sandy relocated the bird and also spotted the female. Another good record for the atlas.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Pied-billed Grebe

Silly o'clock and a drive to Summerset + a 2 1/2 hour watch at Ham Wall RSPB Reserve produced good looks at my first British P ied-billed Grebe. We turned up just after eight and just in time to miss this North American mega by  minutes! Little Grebes kept us on our toes but we had to wait it out until about 10:40 am when it appeared from the corner where it had disappeared. There was a nice crowd here, all remaining hopeful and humorous during this very cold vigil. This little beauty made a b-line to open water, affording all great views. Bonus bird at this site was a  Great White Egret .

Stains Moor

Today I checked the Staines Reservoir for some reported birds including Black Turn and Ruff. My target birds were not relocated but I did get another year bird: Wheatear . This was across the road; perched on a fence post. After an hour I headed to Staines Moor , a site I have never been to before. Good directional signs were non existent and I ended up asking the locals. It takes about 25 minutes from parking to actually getting onto the moor. This route is basically two public footpaths. It is definitely worth it and is a fantastic site with good visibility in all directions.The River Colne meanders through; making it very attractive and good for wildlife.  One of the features here that really stands out is the amount of yellow meadow ant hills; a favored perching spot for Wheatear I here. Birds seen included Coot, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Linnet, Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wren, Robin, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Black-headed Gull, Grey Heron, Buzzard, Kestrel, Hobby, Green

Kefalonia -Greece 2015

K efalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands, (700 sq km) and is located off the west coast of Greece. Though, in recent times, it is most notably known as the location for Captain Corellis Mandolin; it also has lots of history, interesting geography and endangered fauna.  As it sits in the earthquake zone it has seen lots of changes, especially the 1953 earthquake which badly affected all but the northern town of Fiskado. Mount Ainos dominates the landscape and at 1628 meters can be seen from most areas. One of the most famous residents is the endangered Loggerhead Turtle which breed on the southern beaches.   What follows is a short trip report highlighting my casual observations from 23rd August – 30th August 2015. Though this was not a birding holiday, I did manage a few morning sorties in various areas and hope that this will give some indication of what to expect. Kephalonia is not a ‘birding destination’ but for those of you who visit, a little effort will afford