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Mar 08 2014

Unidentified Flying Dinosaur: North Creek Woodpecker, Plus Bonus Frog Pick-Up Lines

Spring’s coming. I can tell this because a few of the fruit trees have a scattering of blooms, some of the more enterprising rhodies are flowering, and the frogs are trying to get laid.

Soon, I’ll be bopping down the North Creek levees with the sun on my face and the wind in my hair. It will be much like it was this day, in the late summer of 2012, when I was bopping with sun wind etc. and heard a rapping.

It’s actually rather rare to see woodpeckers along the trail here. I’m not sure why. There’s lots of trees, and you’d expect wetlands to have bugs, but while I hear them rapping in the woods all the time, it’s almost never here. But this time, I heard and saw one, right beside the trail.

You probably won’t have any trouble with it, even though it was so deep in the branches that my camera couldn’t quite catch it.

UFD I

UFD I

Red head, salt-n-pepper tail, probably one of the common ones. But still fun to look at. Since the camera wasn’t have it, I switched to video, and got a little bit of detail of it. Unfortunately, the wind noise drowned out the rapping and was incredibly annoying, so I turned the sound off.

Love the woodpecker.

Tonight was one of those lovely clear nights you get on the verge of spring here, where there’s a distinct crispness to the air, but it isn’t biting, and the frogs are out there at full volume telling the lady frogs how frogly and awesome they are. The little buggers usually shut up the instant I unsling the camera, and they did it again tonight, but I stayed veryvery still and waited, and a few minutes later, they were full o’ song again. I got the ones in the big wetland by the transmission lines, and then another set of them in the tiny fenced-off wetland right on the grounds. Those I was able to sneak up to and practically stand on top of, which is why the second part of the video is so much louder than the first.

Love the froggies. When their chorus starts up, I know it’s only a matter of weeks before the weather becomes reasonable again. And soon, we’re going to have endless blooms. I’ll getcha lotsa those, so everybody can have some lovely spring.

 

9 comments

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  1. 1
    Al Dente

    Spring’s coming. I can tell this because a few of the fruit trees have a scattering of blooms, some of the more enterprising rhodies are flowering, and the frogs are trying to get laid.

    You’re lucky. Here in southern New England the temperature is 29°F (below freezing C), there’s snow on the ground, and nary a leaf to be seen on deciduous trees.

  2. 2
    heliconia

    I think the only woodpecker with that much red on its head in your neck of the woods is the red-breasted sapsucker.

    Jealous of your spring weather and your frogs.

    1. 2.1
      Lithified Detritus

      I will second all of that.

  3. 3
    rq

    Yes, I think heliconia has it!
    It’s very beautiful, I love the red with black-and-white. Nature somehow manages to do it right every time!
    Also, it’s very spring weather here, too. :) We’re supposed to have an overnight frost next weekend, but everything in between is well above the freezing point, so yay spring!

  4. 4
    Trebuchet

    I wasn’t familiar with the sapsucker but it certainly looks right.

    Poor dying froggies. Isn’t that what “croaking” means?

  5. 5
    moarscienceplz

    “…and heard a rapping”
    As of someone gently tapping on your chamber door?
    ;-)

    1. 5.1
      Lithified Detritus

      Take thy beak from out my heart!

      1. rq

        Wrong bird, y’all! Unless Poe got them mixed up.

  6. 6
    lorn

    Nice pecker. I’ve seen one this spring so far down here in Florida. Temperatures have been up and down. Plants are blooming and then having the flowers frosted. Critters are popping out thinking its full-on spring only to be caught in the cold.

    I was out on a walk in the wee hours of the morning. The day had been over seventy in the sun but it was under fifty when I found a toad on the road. Exposed to hawks, raccoons, and vehicles it did not look long for this world. I rolled him up in a bandana and stuffed him in my jacket pocket. I was afraid it would die but ten minutes in a warm pocket it was singing, croaking.

    I’ve had it for over a week, fed it some crickets from the local reptile shop, and it seems healthy enough. At night it croaks and digs loudly. Native to the area I think I’ll take it out to a nearby lake/ marsh/ woodland as soon as things are a little warmer.

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