Birding Notes

Reflections on birds and other wildlife on the edge of a southern woodland

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – First of the Season

As I got back home and walked down the driveway, two Chipping Sparrows flew out of the wax myrtles and up into a tree, and one lone Chimney Swift flew over. By this time, the mist had become a light rain. I was just about to go inside when a woodpecker swooped down from over the roof, into one of the pecan trees, and when I looked more closely – sure enough – it was a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. The first of the season I’ve seen here. It was quiet, not mewing, and went quickly from spot to spot, up and down the trunk of the pecan, finally finding a spot it liked and tapping there for a few minutes. Even in the misty gray light, its colors looked rich – red crown and red throat, and a mellow, dark-flecked, yellow-brown belly. It stayed in the trees around the front yard until a couple of noisy racing squirrels seemed to disturb it into flying further away.


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