Saturday, April 16, 2011

An uncommon rainy day

Based on the rain that's welcomed us back so far, I'm expecting a bumper crop of May flowers. The forecast called for more rain this afternoon so Sasha took us for a walk this morning, and sure enough, the gray scudding clouds opened up around noon. It became a good day to stay warm near the wood stove as the outside temperature climbed to 5C/41F !

At one point I got up to have a look out the back window at the rain. I spotted what I thought was a robin pecking enthusiastically at the ground, but its furious action caught my attention. Then I noticed a splotch of red on its neck, and I knew it wasn't a robin - I'd never seen a bird like this before. Of course I had to get a few shots of this visitor. I watched its peculiar pecking for a while - apparently ants are a staple - and soon it was joined by 2 others.

I was further surprised when I researched it online and discovered that this bird is actually a woodpecker, known as a 'common flicker'. To paraphrase a favourite author, don't you think that if this flicker was all that common, I'd have seen more of them around ?

I had to shoot these through a rain-covered window and crop the shots a bit - no sneaking up on the birds on this day !

(70-200mm  f5.6  1/200 sec  ISO400)

(70-200mm  f5.6  1/60 sec  ISO200)


19 comments:

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I'm glad you got to see this bird.They are really quite common in my area.I think they are beautiful,and am happy to have them dig for ants ion my yard.

Soraia B. said...

Great photos!

Elizabeth Grimes said...

Neat! I can't remember the last time I saw a woodpecker. I think I'd be pretty excited about that. Glad you enjoyed your rainy day! They're fun every now and then. :)

Leovi said...

Beautiful bird, and its color is perfectly camouflaged with the surroundings.

magda said...

Lovely photo Rick !!!
Greetings

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

Looks like a handsome woodpecker, all with a nice 'bib' and spotty top!

Saz said...

What lovely photo's! I very rarely see woodpeckers in my area. I've only ever really seen the one in my entire life.. Haha.

Lovely photo's! (:

Cicero Sings said...

A Flicker has been coming to my window feeder of late ... twice today already. We actually have a lot of them in our neck of the woods ... but then we have a LOT of ants.

pumpkydine said...

Even on rainy days, opportunities arise for pictures! Wonderful! Your photo is of the subspecies called Yellow-shafted Flicker. It has the red nape on the back of the neck and a black mustache whereas the Red-Shafted Flicker has no red on the neck but the mustache is red. Also, the mustache is only on the males.

Jeanne Klaver said...

I love the Flicker! You did a good job here...sometimes they're really hard to find.

Soraia B. said...

Thank you so much!

Rick said...

Thanks Ruth - never saw one before but we had 3 here yesterday ! I hope they come around more often - we also have plenty of ants to go around ;-)

Obrigado Soraia !

LOL - I guess they're likely a bit scarce in NYC Elizabeth. I was excited since I'd never seen one of these before. Have a great week !

Thanks, Leovi - and yes, they're pretty hard to spot.

Rick said...

Thank you Magda; have a wonderful week !

Thanks for visiting today, Keats, and leaving your nice comment.

I don't often get to see then either, Saz, so I was glad when these came by. Have a great week !

Hi Cicero - I guess you can call yours 'common' for sure; they haven't earned that name here ;-) Thanks for dropping by.

Rick said...

Thanks for the information, Randy - you sure know your birds ! It was great having them drop by on an otherwise miserable day.

Thank you, Jeanne. Had I not got up to watch the weather I'd likely have missed them altogether. I appreciate your visit.

My Pleasure, Soraia !

Cat said...

Brrr...sounds like winter! You can send the rain this way if you'd like! Nice capture of the woodpecker.

teca said...

What a cute...
There are woodpeckers also here... often by the toc-toc on the trees we can identify them easily. :))
That the rain will help the budding of many flowers in your garden! So you can photograph the beauty of nature!
Good week, honey.
Beijos with love.

Rick said...

LOL Cat - that's the way we feel too ! We're still getting acclimatized - and getting used to wearing jeans, socks, boots, etc again ;-) Thanks.

Thank you Teca; I've heard woodpeckers here before but have never been able to see any. till now. I eagerly anticipate the plants to start growing and bestowing on us their colours and fragrance. Have a wonderful week. Beijos from me !

AleR said...

Hi, Rick! Great capture! The correct name of that gorgeous - Northern Flicker(Colaptes auratus).And it has two forms as pumpkydine sad earlier. They're living only in North America.

Rick said...

Thanks for dropping by, AleR ! And thanks for the update on the name too. I'm glad it came by and introduced itself ! (I'm learning lots via blogging)