Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Best of Birding Adventures...

Yesterday I had one of the best birding adventures ever!  Let me start by saying that the very first bird that got me into bird watching was the Pileated Woodpecker.  I had seen this glorious bird when we lived in Suquamish (Poulsbo) Washington back in 1988.  It fascinated me then, and still brings excitement to me today.  So to my delight, when I was out walking this week I decided to go further than I normally do.  

So happy that I did, because I came across one of these magnificant Pileated Woodpeckers.  She was drumming away on a huge Ponderosa Pine a couple miles from my home.  The tree was a regular stop for her you could tell because the bark was missing from large areas on the tree. 

Of course, I slowed and quickly got my camera going on my iPhone.  I got some pictures, but none to write home about.  I thought it was a male when I was out there, but after reading up on my iBird app, determined it was a female because she lacked the red mustache.  She let me get closer than I thought she would.  Of course, I had my dogs with me and they were right under foot.  She flew off to a nearby tree, and we trotted on with our walk with that high that you get when the endorphines are running good, and you've just witnessed something in nature that stirs your soul. 

Cut to yesterday, me and the dogs are out walking again eager to beat my mileage from yesterday's record of 3.76 miles.  As we approach the area where the Pileated's Ponderosa Pine is, and there she is again, working away at that tree.  I move closer and closer until I am within just a few feet of this tree and this bird, my favorite bird!  I am able to shoot photo after photo, and videos too.  Such excitement, I can't even explain!  Like that feeling of holding the hummingbirds while they drink!  Experiences you won't ever forget.

We finally moved on and continued on our walk.  The longest walk yet.  A round trip of 4.33 miles!  All the way to Cedar Beau Bay at the south end of the lake.

When we got back to the tree, Ms. Woodpecker was still there. This time I was able to creep up to the tree within 2 or 3 feet.  I was standing on the edge of a block wall with the beautiful bird right there almost within arms reach.  I took lots of photos and a video and spent quite some time with her. 

Another walker with a couple of dogs came walking nearby and she flew off to a nearby tree.  I spoke with the elderly lady, who was 80, and we chatted about the woodpecker.  She told me she had seen some Cedar Waxwings recently, a once in a blue moon bird in this area, and exciting to see also (although I think it was probably a Bohemian Waxwing).  As I continued home, my heart was full with nature.  What a great feeling it is to have such great birding adventures to share!


  1. These are fantastic Sherrie :) I can read your excitement! Congrats!!

  2. One of the most exciting bird encounters I've had. So close to such a beautiful bird... I didn't think it was possible.

  3. And the excitement continues.... I'm pretty sure the woodpecker us following me! People watching? While on my walk today I could hear the drumming of a pecker. Never did see one though. After returning home, as I'm resting I can hear a familiar bird call. I tell my daughter that it's either the Pileated Woodpecker or the Belted Kingfisher. Sure enough, up flies the Pileated!!! Lands right on the tree in front of me. I grab my camera, but the dog barking scared it off. Who can get any better pics than I did already? I grabbed my iPhone and iBird app and flirted with the bird who had flown off. Then she comes flying right over my head looking for that bird that's calling!!! Ah sigh.... Lovin the bird life!