Saturday, March 3, 2018

Winter Birding 1 - Woodpeckers And Others

I've never imagined that it's possible to go birding in winter, especially in a place where thick snow and frosts blanket the ground and coat the trees.  But a friend said that it's a good season for birding as the birds would be out looking for food, making it easier to spot them.

And so I'm often out with hubby and a couple, searching for new birds in the ideal environment such as the woods. As I've said previously, I can tolerate the painful freezing sensation in my fingers and toes as I stand in a corner of the forest waiting for the birds to perch on some pine or spruce trees. Later on, we found out that we could buy hand and foot warmers for a more comfortable stay out in the snow and cold.  They work! And I'm so glad for that!

So far, I haven't found the birds that I'm dying to see, which have been reportedly spotted in some places. But I saw a few lifers. The hunt goes on though.

I will be posting in a series some birds that I "gathered" this winter. This is actually my first winter birding, and it's exciting!

This first post focuses on the woodpeckers which I often spot these days. I've taken lots of photos of them, so much that I almost stopped capturing them except when the perfect ambiance presented itself.

I took these great spotted woodpeckers on sunny winter days when the skies were clear blue while the ground I was standing on was blanketed with thick snow that glittered beautifully. 

Here's a regular customer in our balcony bird "restaurant". It's eating here mostly twice a day.

It perches on the top of this spruce tree beside our balcony before plunging down to the buffe table that we arranged for our winged guests.

Here's one in a forest feeder. Woody shares a "table" with others too, such as this spotted nutcracker and this great tit.

The grey-headed woodpecker was one I was hoping to see in this pine forest. Guess how excited I was when it came along with some other lifers. I had three other companions that time, but they missed this one because they were distracted by the other birds. 

Some weeks later, I was alone in this same forest in hopes to find another one I was dying to see which unfortunately didn't show up. Instead, I was treated with a surprise show when two woodpeckers came, the great spotted and the grey headed, pecking at the same time on two adjacent trees equipped with feeders by an ornithologist. 

Now, it's a contest! Who pecks best? 😊😊😊

Other new birds for me that I've come to be fond of are the nuthatch and the tree creeper. Both crawl up and down the trees, but the tree creeper is harder to capture as it moves quickly the whole time as seen from the mosaic below with blurry shots.

This nuthatch is also a regular customer in our balcony.

These are all for this post. Watch out for my upcoming winter bird posts.