Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Sunday, December 24, 2017,

This is a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, my first one ever. It is probably an immature male and not just because most women I know are always telling me that men are immature. Or maybe they just mean me. I’m not sure. Anyways, back to the bird. I spotted a pair of these working some trees about a month ago at the Morton Wildlife Refuge. They were obviously woodpeckers of some sort but even from a distance I could see they weren’t Downy Woodpeckers, which are the woodpeckers I see most often. When I got home, I grabbed my Sibley’s Guide and compared my pics to the illustrations in Mr. Sibley’s excellent book. I thought I might have a Sapsucker but I very rarely trust myself, especially when it comes to new (to me) birds. So I emailed my friend Patrice from the Four Harbors Audubon Society and she confirmed my guess. I had finally captured the mythical Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. I looked to the skies for falling confetti or blaring trumpets but, sigh, there was nothing of the sort. I did, however, have a new bird under my belt. JK

First Snow

Saturday, December 9, 2017,

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We had our first real snowfall today. Nothing major. I think a total of five to seven inches are expected when the weather clears tomorrow morning. I was on a bird walk at Avalon Park and Preserve this morning when the snow began to kick in.

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The bird walk was one of Four Harbors Audubon’s regularly scheduled walks. We walk at Avalon and Frank Melville Memorial Park every second Saturday of each month. We had a very small gathering at Avalon, only four of us altogether. I guess the forecast scared some of our regular walkers off. I guess the snow isn’t for everybody.

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As it turned out, it wasn’t a very big day for bird watching anyway. We saw a few but no great numbers of anything. However, we did come across a small herd of five deer. Three does and two fawns. It was the first snow of the season for us, but for those two fawns it was their first snow ever. They didn’t seem very impressed but the snow was really just beginning when I took these photos.

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