Monday, March 15, 2010

Good Morning for Woodpeckers at Lucy Park

Photo of rehabbing downy woodpecker courtesy of Wild Bird Rescue.


Sunday morning I decided to go to Lucy Park for my bird walk in hopes of seeing some spring migrants. That didn't pan out, but it was a good morning nonetheless, primarily because of the woodpeckers.

Lucy Park is a good place to see woodpeckers because of the large number of snags in the woodland. On Sunday, the birds were drumming and calling to establish territories, which made it easier to find them. I saw/heard several red-bellied woodpeckers and the downy woodpeckers seemed to be everywhere. A special treat were the yellow-shafted flickers. According to the North Texas Bird and Wildlife Club checklist, The Birds of North Central Texas, flickers don't breed here, but they must do some pairing before heading north, because a couple were drumming and calling like mad.

I was watching a yellow-shafted flicker drumming and calling from a bare snag when a downy landed immediately below him. It must be a snag that has good noise-producing qualities. The downy was not able to convince the much larger flicker to leave, so he hopped over to an adjacent branch to start his own drumming.

I almost always see (or at least hear) the red-bellied woodpeckers in Lucy Park. I often see one or two downys. However, on Sunday I saw and heard numerous downys (at least 6) and as many or more red-bellied woodpeckers. I saw 3 flickers. I thought I saw a hairy woodpecker, but the distance was too far and the glimpse too brief to be absolutely certain.

Since I was having such a great woodpecker morning, I walked over to the duck pond where I have seen red-headed woodpeckers a few times in the last several months, but no luck this time. It would have been exciting to have seen them too, but I suppose I shouldn't be greedy and should be content to see them on another day.

Good birding!