Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lifer for Moi! Pileated Woodpecker!!! Squeeee

Check it out all! For those of you who follow my blog you may recall me writing that there were two birds I had to see this year no matter what. Those two birds were the Bald Eagle and Pileated Woodpecker. Well check out what I saw today at the Grafton Cemetery!!
It was a gorgeous morning when I arrived and was dismayed to see that my usual parking spot was covered by a snow bank. Hmmmph, I thought as I parked somewhere else. I got out of my car and looked toward the wetlands and saw a spot of vibrant red on a tree. I tiptoed over the fence, adjusted my camera settings and there it was. I took a photo and couldn't believe my eyes. At first I thought it was a red bellied woodpecker until I zoomed in more to confirm it was indeed a Pileated Woodpecker!

To make this even more exciting is that there are two of them. I was able to observe them both for about 1/2 and hour and now know their call which is unique to say the least.


I went home to change my clothes because I was soaked (I actually had to sit in the snow to get these photos because I needed to rest my elbows on my legs due to the fact that my camera had to be on full zoom because they were so far away. When I came back all I could hear was the manic call of the woodpeckers. My guess is they know this land very well and I will be seeing a lot more of them this spring. LIFER and a super sweet one at that.

Speaking of super sweet, look what I saw today. My first blue bird of the year! The picture is a little fuzzy but the bird was so far away and when I went to get closer it flew off so I had to settle with this one.

It's funny because the whole reason why I went to the Grafton Cemetery today was to see if the blue birds were back yet. I didn't even think I would see the pileated. It's funny how life works out for you sometimes isn't it. ;o)




32 comments:

NCmountainwoman said...

How wonderful that you got to see the Pileated! And you got some great photographs as well. Despite the fact that I hear their calls every day, I am still amazed. They sound so tropical.

Our Pileateds have started drumming so spring can't be too far away.

Elaine Dale said...

Holy Dinah! It almost looks like a cartoon, it's sooo gorgeous. Congratulations.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Congrats Kim... I know you were as excited as I was to see my first Cedar Waxwing. You got some great pictures. Our Pileated are usually together in pairs also. The male has a red streak along the base of the bill and the female has a black streak there. Can you tell the difference????

Glad you saw a bluebird also. I hope ours come back this spring.

Have a great week..
Hugs,
Betsy

The Early Birder said...

Whoow Kallen. Didn't I say patience would pay off & it has. Lovely photos as well. Nice one Lol FAB.

madcobug said...

They are both beautiful species of birds. Your pictures are great. Good job. Helen

Mildred said...

So very happy for you. We have some of the pileated woodpeckers in our woods, but they are so quick, I doubt I will ever get a picture. I do get a chuckle out of their call.
Great photo of the blue bird too. Sounds like you had a great morning other than getting wet.

Andy said...

Congratulations are in order!

Chris said...

Wppw, This woodpecker is amazing with his crest!! Surely a courtship signal or a how up design!! Wonderful sight and pictures. Congrats.

Cam said...

Way to go! Love seeing each bird's colors etc. I guess you're kind of like Earl now and can cross them off your list ;)

Rich said...

That pileated woodpecker is an interesting looking bird. Great shots for being on full zoom.

Jessica said...

Hello.. I've visited your blog several times before but this is my first time commenting. I enjoy your blog and your bird stories.

Congratulations on your pileated. I've seen one twice but it's been several years since then. I really want to see them again. Maybe this will be the year for me.

Amy said...

Congrats on the lifer! It's been years since I've seen a Pileated too, and not nearly as good as your look & pics. Yay!

Heather said...

Hip hip, hooray! I remember when I first saw my first Pileated. It was at Ohiopyle State Park in Pennsylvania. I couldn't believe me eyes, and sometimes I still can't when I happen to see one. They're so prehistoric-looking. I'm so happy for you!

Lynne said...

Hurray on the lifer! Pileated Woodpeckers are SO COOL!!!

Beth said...

I saw 2 pileated woodpeckers on my first bird watching field trip with the local birding club and I didn't want to leave the spot. I could have stood there and watched them through my binoculars forever. Congratulations! If you don't find that bald eagle soon, you can come visit me in Maine and we'll find one (and maybe a moose or two, too!)

A New England Life said...

Well that just rocks! Gotta love the pileated's! Great shots too! What a fantastic day for you Kim! Congratulations : )

Love that bluebird too. I need to seek them out!

Tina said...

Wow and wow!! Now that's a great day of birding..a twofer!! Congrats on seeing your first Pileated Woodpecker +one..and your first blue of the season. How sweet does all that feel?? Great right? I love days like you just had...even if you did have to go home and change your wet clothe s which was a shame but well worth it as you did a great job of getting some awesome shots of the woodpeckers and the blue!!

Kallen305 said...

NC, I thought of you after I saw them. After seeing them myself I can't imagine one eating from my suet cage. They are big!

Elaine, Woody Woodpecker was actually created from a Pileated. That was the image the cartoon artist wanted to portray so you are onto something!

Betsy, thanks for the info. I didn't know that. I got blurry pics of the female but I was able to confirm gender based on your info. Thanks!

EB, I am learning patience and it is paying off. I am learning to appreciate each day of birding and take the lifers as I get them.

Thanks Madco, the pictures were tough because they were so far away. I am going to try and get to a better spot next time in hopes for some video!

Mildred, they are quick if they hear you. If you stay completely still they stick around long enough for a photo. I was afraid to breathe at one point. LOL

Thanks Andy, I like your new blog a lot. I didn't know you were from New England so I am glad I found it.

Thanks Chris, I so hope you are right and they are courting each other. What a wonderful thing for me to watch every weekend.

Rich, full zoom was easier on this bird than the smaller ones. I had to perch my elbows on my knees and not move in order to not get them too blurry. They didn't come out as crisp as I wanted though because of the full zoom.

LOL Cam about the earl comment. I am going to check them in my spreadsheet tomorrow!

Jessica, this will be the year for you I am sure. Such gorgeous birds! I hope you see them this year.

Amy, you too will see one this year I am sure. Who knows, maybe one will come to your feeders. ;o)

Heather, you are spot on about them looking prehistoric! So cool. It makes me sad though because I think of the Ivory Billed and how much they have suffered. We have to do all we can to make sure these birds don't suffer the same fate. Shade Grown Coffee folks! That's all I buy now.

Thanks Lynne! Now all I need are some bald eagles and I will be happy!

Beth, I will take you up on the offer if I don't get an eagle by October. ;o). I did see a moose last fall. It was loose in the city of Worcester and I called the police to report it. Sadly they shot and killed it. :o(. This was before I started blogging or I would have had my camera and taken a picture of that magnificent creature.

Sharon, keep your eyes open. I saw them this weekend for the first time so I wouldn't be surprised if they are in NH by next weekend!

Thanks Tina. It is amazing how much a lifer and even a first bird of the season can change your mood. I am on cloud nine tonight and can't wait to go back tomorrow to see both the Pileated and the Blue Bird.

Susan Gets Native said...

Squeeeee!

Christopher said...

Sweet!!! One of my favorite birds. Those are fantastic photos too - great job!

Kelly said...

...yeah!!! Those are fab photos of the Pileated Woodpecker. Every time I see one I'm amazed. Love the bluebird photo as well. (Strangely...it was in the high 70s today in Cincy...temps will be dropping again tomorrow, but boy was it nice today.)

Little Brown Job said...

Congratulations on your new find! Great shots :-)

Paul

ShySongbird said...

Lovely photos Kallen, that was a good trip out. Beautiful birds.

Jayne said...

Yay!!!! A Pileated for Kallen!!!! He's gorgeous! And a bluebird waiting for you when you got home. What a day. :c)

troutbirder said...

Congratulations Kaleen, What a great day you had!

Steve B said...

Good for you, Kim!

MaineBirder said...

Congrats Kallen! See, you didn't have to come to Maine to find a Pileated Woodpecker.

Great job on the photos! Sometimes you have to get wet/muddy/cold to get the photos.

mon@rch said...

Congrats and you captured the photos of it perfectly! :) they are amazing birds for sure and thanks for sharing!

Deborah Godin said...

Good for you!! Aren't they amazing!? Any time I've see one (not often) it never fails to strike just how big they are! Cool!!

Mary said...

Kallen, you are seeing the birds lately, girl!

If I would get out of the house, I might too!

Love that pileated. Wow.

Ali said...

Awesome! Pileateds are one of my favorites! I just saw my Brown Thrashers for the first time this year today and I am so excited to finally have a camera with a nice zoom so I can get some pics! New to your blog and I will definitely be returning!

AMIT said...

It looks very beautiful picture.

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