03-07-14 Stalking a Pieleated Woodpecker
On Friday 03-07-14, it was practice day for my son at the NH State Championships held at Mt. Sunapee, so I donned my snowshoes and headed up into the woods on the other side of the access road from the ski trails. There was a marked trail switchbacking up the slope, but I just went straight up, testing out my new Tubbs Action Flex shoes... I highly recommend these if you are looking for a good pair of mountaineering snowshoes. I heard the call of a Pieleated Woodpecker and decided to see if I could locate it. It located me instead, flying right by me as it headed for its main excavation tree. I wish the forest was not so dense where I was because I could not get flight shots of this bird; every time it flew, there were all kinds of branches in the way.
I stalked and chased this bird up down and across the sloped forest for around 1-1/2 hours. It always made its way back to the tree with the huge hole in it. I should have just settled in and waited for it to come back each time it left, but I needed the exercise. The bird is a male; you can tell by the red malar stripe (mustache area).
Never a full clear shot, I often had to focus on a small part of the bird, and wait for its head to come back out of the hole to take the shot. Here are the best of the more than 150 photos I shot of this beautiful bird. I hope you like them.