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Exploring the Lime Kiln burn

I went back to the Lime Kiln burn site, and this time, the female Black-Backed Woodpecker was willing to pose for the camera! (See here to read the background and to learn all about this unique woodpecker.)

She's a somber bird, designed to blend in with the ashen-hued colors of a burned forest. But she does show a pretty blue sheen on her back feathers in good light.

Chickadees followed me into the burned woods, hoping for a handout. I was amused by how baleful their charred surroundings made them look.

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"You will give us seed. You will give us seed now."

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Hairy Woodpecker portraitLife bird #318


November 7th, 2012 at 8:29 am
He does look very like the color of burned wood, with the same coaly sheen!

Mustang Sallie
November 9th, 2012 at 12:18 am
Fiendishly menacing and adorably cute!

November 9th, 2012 at 12:31 am
chickadees are so cute.

November 9th, 2012 at 8:43 pm
Wow - love the light in the first picture! When was this? I went looking with Deb last Sunday and couldn't find her.

November 9th, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Took these on the 6th, but I saw her again just today. She was at the edge of the big open area (like a wide dirt road, my husband thinks it was an attempted firebreak.) When I took the photographs she was in the woods on the far side of the firebreak. I have yet to see the male that was originally reported, perhaps he has moved on.

November 10th, 2012 at 1:36 pm
I visited the burn site this morning and found the male! No photographs, unfortunately, for he kept moving from tree to tree before sneaking off while I was feeding a chickadee. He was right at the back near where the firebreak meets the marsh.

I didn't see the female, but I had a flock of about 20 Bohemian Waxwings fly over, several Common Redpolls, and one White-winged Crossbill on top of the trees. There was also a Northern Shrike by the parking lot on my way in - a good day, even if I didn't get any photos!

November 10th, 2012 at 9:57 pm
That's great news that the male is still present. I'll be back to look for him.

In my (relatively few) years as a birder this has been the best irruption I've seen. Crossbills, redpolls, Bohemians (my husband has seen flocks of 100+ near his work at Herzberg/Legget), Black-Backed Woodpeckers, reportedly Pine Grosbeaks...and reportedly a Hawk Owl south of the airport, although I haven't gone to find him yet (I'm a little daunted at the prospect of parking on the shoulder of Bowesville.) And it's not even December yet.

November 11th, 2012 at 9:06 am
Yes, so far it's been a great fall!

I remember seeing Bohemians at the corner of Herzberg & Legget in the past. Lots of berries there. Will have to check it out if I can't find any photographable ones anywhere else!

As for parking on Bowesville, there's still the parking area right by the trail entrance a little further north of the NHOW site. I parked there yesterday and walked around, but left because I couldn't find him. This was at 8:30....apparently he arrived at 9:30. Deb and I are going to try this morning.

November 11th, 2012 at 5:43 pm
Oh, I didn't realize the parking area was that close to the owl site. Went there this afternoon and waited with Wilson Hum and others, but the star didn't show :-( Did you have any luck?