Today it is snowing and cold and generally not pleasant at all. So I set out this morning in search of woodpeckers. Specifically, there were two species I had somehow missed in the month of January: Hairy Woodpecker and Northern Flicker. I got them both this morning at Holliday Park. The Flicker came first (bird #046 on the year), followed by the Hairy (#047). I now have an almost complete woodpecker set, with 6 of the 7 regularly occurring Indiana species on my year list. The only one missing now is the Red-Headed Woodpecker, which is more commonly seen in the summer, but still not commonly seen.
#046 Northern Flicker
Year bird #045 came earlier in the week, and it was an immature Cooper’s Hawk seen while walking Emma The Dog.
Over Memorial Day Weekend, Jaime and I had the opportunity to spend a few days in West Virginia visiting my grandparents. In between old family stories and more than a few good meals, we were able to check out the Core Arboretum on the campus of WVU to do some hiking and birding. I didn’t get any new lifers, but we were able to see many birds much more commonly in the hills than we get in Indiana. Among the biggest highlight was a Wild Turkey stumbling around in the underbrush. We also got the chance to see some much more common birds at the feeders in my grandparents’ yard and around the neighborhood.
This Northern Cardinal was framed by the deck posts. I don’t give Cardinals enough attention because of how common they are, and it is also worth noting that the Northern Cardinal is the state bird of every state I have ever lived in (chronologically: North Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia, and Indiana).
Blue Jays ruled the roost at the feeder. They were also seen in quantities unheard of in our home city.
This Northern Flicker was seen at the Arboretum. Flickers are the weird cousins of the woodpecker family, as they like to spend a lot of the time on the ground, where they smash ants and rub them all over their bodies. They also have very dapper handlebar mustaches.
We did see MoDos in Morgantown, but this photo was actually taken at a stop in Columbus on our way to West Virginia. For a while, there was some confusion in our household over the possibility of these birds actually being owls because of the calls that they make.