Saturday, November 27, 2010

Williamson's Sapsuckers--two in Florence,CO

I had previously seen fresh sap wells at Lion's Park in Florence,CO but had not had the time to get out there early enough to find the sapsuckers working the pine trees in this fairly small park. Today I found a female Williamson's Sapsucker there but did not get a photo of her. However I also found this male Williamson's in a pine tree near the Florence Municipal Center building. This was such a nice view of it's back plumage I enlarged it to show how the white from the center of it's rump show through the black and white feathers going up the the back. Do double-click on this pic to enlarge it for a great view of details. SeEtta

More sap-lovers: Juniper Titmice

As if the small grove of eurasian elm trees weren't crowded enough with the 3 female and 1 male Williamson's Sapsuckers located in a dry wash just outside of Canon City, several Mountain Chickadees and these 2 Juniper Titmouse shared the sap well bounty provided by the sapsuckers. Since this area of Colorado is in a 'moderate drought' per NOAA, I imagine that these secondary beneficiaries of the sap (and whatever insects the sap attracts) are very happy that this group of sapsuckers has chosen this location to drill their sap wells. SeEtta

Williamson's Sapsuckers-feeding on elm in dry wash in p-j area

As I noted in last night's post, I saw a male and 3 female Williamson's Sapsuckers in the location just outside of Canon City where I had previously seen just 1 male and 1 female Williamson's. I got these pics of one of the male and of one of the females. It is really different to see them in these non-native and invasive eurasian elm trees but they certainly seem to enjoy feeding in/on (?) them as they continued to return to these deciduous trees after chasing each other into the pinyon-junipers that surround them. SeEtta

Friday, November 26, 2010

Raining Sapsuckers

I saw 20 sapsuckers today!!!!!
I was astounded to see all of these 18 sapsuckers in or just outside of Canon City,CO--and in only 3 hours of birding!!. I started off to check on male Williamson's Sapsuckers by first finding two of them at Rouse Park in the same areas where I have seen them previously. I headed directly to Lakeside Cemetery to see if the 2 male Williamson's I had seen there yesterday were there (if not, then they might be moving between the cemetery and Rouse Park and were not separate individuals from the 2 I saw at Rouse today). Surprise--not only did I refind the two male Williamson's in the area of Lakeside Cemetery I saw them yesterday but I found 3 more male Williamson's for a grand total of 5 males plus 3 female Williamson's--just at this one cemetery!!!!!! The top pic is one of the male Williamson's I found at Lakeside Cemetery today.
The middle (bird probing a sap well-view is from under it's chin so a little of red throat is visible) and bottom pics are of a second male Williamson's that I also saw today in a different location in Lakeside Cemetery than I have previously seen male (or female) Williamson's this year. More on today's Sapsucker Extravaganza in next post. SeEtta 

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Williamson's Sapsuckers-2 males in Lakeside Cemetery again

This is one of the two male Williamson's Sapsuckers I saws in Lakeside Cemetery in Canon City, CO today. I posted pics of 2 male Williamson's at this location in early November but I hadn't seen any males here since. I don't know if these are the same 2 males I have seen in Rouse Park which is just over a mile away or additional males. SeEtta

Williamson's Sapsucker-shy girl

This is the third female Williamson's Sapsucker I found today in Centennial Park. She was pretty shy as she peaked around the tree or put herself behind small branches that obstructed her view until I caught this view (blurred by some pine needles). It does provide an intimate view as she takes a brief break from feeding. SeEtta

Williamson's Sapsuckers-3 feeding in Centennial Park today

This morning I found 3 female Williamson's Sapsuckers in Canon City's Centennial Park today including the one in this pic. Two were feeding in pine trees less than a hundred feet apart. With the 2 other female Williamson's I saw today, there are at least 5 female Williamson's in Canon City which is a high for this species here. I have pics of one of the other females and 2 males I saw today that I will post next (I didn't get pics of the other females). SeEtta

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pacific Loon in good light

The Pacific Loon was still at Brush Hollow Reservoir and I was able to photograph it in much better light than yesterday. As these pics show, the chin strap is no longer evident--maybe what looked like a definite chin strap in yesterdays rather dark pics was actually a shadow?? So this appears to be a juvenile bird. SeEtta

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

More pics of Pacific Loon in winter plumage

This appears to be an adult but there is some checkering pattern on it's back. Birds of North America online states that Basic Plumage "Worn from Nov to Mar. Acquired by complete Definitive Prebasic molt, beginning in Aug–Nov or later, with most feathers replaced by winter," So I guess it is not unusual for them to retain this portion of their Atlernate plumage this close to December? SeEtta

Pacific Loon near Canon City, CO

Late this afternoon I found this Pacific Loon at Brush Hollow Reservoir about 10 mile northeast of Canon City,CO. Though Pacific Loons visit large Colorado lakes every fall and winter, it is pretty rare to see this species at this less-than-large lake that covers 200 acres when full--currently about 3/4 full so covering about 150 acres.
Unfortunately it was late afternoon and storm clouds moved in resulting in darkish photos that I had to lighten during editing--I try to keep retain the same appearance as I observed but this is difficult with birds that are black and white as is obvious in the differences apparent in these pics. More pics to follow in next post. SeEtta