Monday, June 14, 2010

You gotta love Redheads... Woodpeckers that is...

Driving through Leamington was sobering today. Seacliff drive was like something out of a movie! My heart goes out to the people of that wonderful little town. Leamington was hit by a tornado about 1 week ago, and driving down Lakeside drive... the damage, in particular (or most obvious) to the trees is breathtaking. All you see as you drive are 1-meter in diameter tree stumps. You see chainsawed tree trunks stacked along the roads. With the lack of trees, you can actually see Lake Erie between the houses, which I think is a new phenomenon. You could not really see the lake before because of all the trees that were present.

This posting is about Red-Headed Woodpeckers though. A recent Ontbirds posting from the Point Pelee staff mentioned the survival of a Red Headed Woodpecker nest, so I made an effort to stop by this picturesque little town and check it out. How did this wonderful pair of birds survive an F1 tornado??? 

This was about as good as I could do from the public walkway... 40 meters away. Of course, cloudy crappy weather in the background.

I saw these birds enter a larger hole in this tree, it looked more like an owl hole than a woodpecker hole.I was hoping to see baby woodpeckers sticking out from a nest hole, but no such luck. In the above photo, you can see a former hole outline. I hope this was not their original home!

These trees are about 10 meters to the north of the RHW nest. Any tree over 10 meters tall seemed to have been torn apart. It looks like a giant weed whipper crudely chopped all the tree-tops over 10 m. Incredible. Luckily, nobody died.

Other birds seen were:
Common Tern
Ruddy Duck Mated pair (sleeping and floating)
Red Winged Blackbird
Northern Mockingbird
Various Swifts & Swallows

These two Northern Mockingbirds appeared to be either mating or fighting for territory. They would squabble up in the air about 1 m off the ground then land back on the ground like shown above.

Good birding to the blog-o-sphere!


  1. Your red-headed woodpecker pictures came out much better than mine. Nice work.

  2. Thanks WS,

    When I take photos, it’s usually in the "Av" (aperture priority) mode. So, if I photograph a bird with a dark forest or treed background, I set the exposure to 0+- but for the photos where there is a bright white sky in the background, you have to increase the exposure to +1 or else the bird ends up getting underexposed. It’s taken years of photography experimentation for me to really understand what I've just explained.

    Setting ISO sensitivity, White balance and Aperture are also things that you have to consider as well. Often times though, you’re so excited to see the bird, you don't have time or you simply forget about all these fine adjustments.

    I also crop many of my photos and do some mild post-processing in an image management program called 'google picasa'. I think it’s a great tool and would recommend it to anyone.




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...