My husband spotted the birding thrill of the weekend when he got up on Sunday morning. He looked out of our bedroom window and called out to me to come quietly with my camera. A pileated woodpecker was just outside the window working on a rotten woodpile. We hadn’t heard it because the wood was so rotten that its beak wasn’t making that familiar tap-tap sound. Eventually it flew off and was joined by another, which I assume was a mate. They are quite large birds and look rather comical with their bright red caps.
We also had another birding thrill when we saw a Common Merganser. Despite the word “common” in its name, it hasn’t been a common visitor. We have never seen one before.
It was raining and we were in the cottage at the time, so my zoom did the best it could, but we were about 200-feet away so the image isn’t the greatest. We actually thought it was a loon when we first looked out. My husband commented that he had never seen a loon so close to our shoreline before, but when I looked closely I saw it wasn’t a loon but a Common Merganser.
It was impressive to see it fishing. I was amazed at how quickly it zoomed across the water and then dived for a fish.
We had some other bird activity over the weekend where I didn’t get a picture. We got a distant glimpse of a loon and heard it call. We saw a pheasant on our drive in and I watched two hawks as they did a kind of chase dance in the sky. That was rather beautiful.
Our resident Turkey Vultures were overhead, working the thermals.
The redwing blackbirds were around and as usual were quite vocal.
I noticed a nest in a tree and assumed it was from last year, but then I saw a little sparrow checking it out. He didn’t seem to be building and later was checking out the reeds.
The redwing blackbirds nested amongst the reeds last year, so I am wondering if this guy was checking out building material for the nest in the tree. Hopefully when the leaves grow on the tree they won’t block my view. It is awfully high up there and not somewhere I am going to get a birds eye view!