|Spotted Towhee taking a bath in a puddle|
When I told Cheri, my neighbor and photography friend, she was very interested in checking the place out. So early one morning in April, we did just that. It was a cold, rainy day, and I had my doubts any birds would be out in such nasty weather (I wasn't too sure I wanted to be out in it either!)
|A Pileated woodpecker!|
When we first wandered through the old road that served as a trail there wasn't a bird to be found. One trail brought us to the Columbia River's banks, and here Cheri spotted a couple of eagles soaring through the air. But I wasn't fast enough to capture them. My only image came when a spotted towhee landed close by and began splashing around in a puddle. (Which became one of my favorites from the day)
I was ready to admit defeat, but Cheri was determined to find some woodpeckers.
|Pileated woodpecker inspecting a hole in this tree|
We followed another side trail deep into the woods. It was here Cheri heard the distinctive "knock knock" sound of a woodpecker on a tree. She grabbed her binoculars and spotted our first woodpecker - not just any woodpecker, this one was a Pileated woodpecker. Being a beginning birder, I didn't realize that seeing one in the wild was rare.
Cheri located the tree that the woodpecker was pounding on. The bird was tearing off pieces of moss and stuffing them into a hole in the tree. A few minutes later, this woodpecker was joined by another - the female Cheri guessed. A woodpecker couple! We clicked away with our cameras. Cheri was so excited. She made plans to return in another month and look for babies.
|Juvenile Bald Eagle|
Although the rain sprinkled intermittently, this woodpecker sighting had us both fired up to look for more birds. After a bit more walking, I noticed a few red-headed birds on a nearby tree. Turned out they were another species of woodpecker, the red-breasted sapsucker. Those birds moved so fast, I only got one halfway decent image.
Then Cheri spotted a wood duck couple perched on top of an old dead tree. The brightly colored male was so pretty, I wished they were a bit closer for better images. (Lucky for me, I had a wood duck couple land in our backyard a few days later)
Our last woodpecker sighting came as Cheri and I were walking back towards the parking area. Cheri spotted a striking black and white bird hopping around the trunk of a tree. Turned out this one was a hairy woodpecker (Never knew there was such a wide variety - I learned a lot about woodpeckers that day!)
Lucky for us, an icky, rainy day didn't stop the birds from coming out of hiding. The lack of leaves on the trees helped us with bird spotting. We'd return a month later to find thick spring greenery hiding our feathery friends.
Another successful day of bird photography! And - bonus - Cheri's fit bit said we'd walked a total of four miles, so I included it as one of the hikes for my 52 hike challenge. #hikenumber9