Friday, March 2, 2018

Sunny Sunday 2

Welcome back!  After driving past the Peach Orchard I arrive at Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge...Im fortunate to have this awesome place close by...We have rambled it's roads for years.  Today being Sunday the Visitor's Center is closed but I park there because I hear a ton of birdsong coming down out of these trees!


A Bachman's Sparrow was seen here a few days ago...I have no hopes of seeing it as this is a huge place 45,000+ acres!  I strain my neck backwards and find the singer...a House Finch!

or two...

Everybody is pairing up time to replenish the supply of birds! 

Eastern Bluebird

I walked around the area listening and looking and found White-throated Sparrows, and Chipping Sparrow, but no Bachman's showed.  An American Kestrel soared over, heard and saw a Red bellied Woodpecker and then a not so familiar woodpecker chip chirp and rattle...

The Female Red Cockaded Woodpecker! a tree nearby the male, 

First time I've ever gotten a photo of one of these and first time seeing one in many years...

note the big white cheek patch this is the main diagnostic to look for...

This male has a band on his left leg...I can't read it, I can make out it's like aluminum....I only reported 2 birds but I'm almost 99.9% sure there was 3 they left I swear I saw 3 swooping shapes.  I stood still and was no bother to them they took their time, I took a bunch of photos...these are the best from the distance I stood away.  The Male was on a big tree on the right and the female on a small tall tree on the left so I saw them both pretty good, the 3rd bird came into view as they moved off...he was probably behind me.

I was thrilled! Not just for me for these BIRDS!!
This is an endangered species,,,,it's only alive due to being protected and provided for in places like Carolina Sandhills!   There is hope.  Of course we have to get Trump out of the White House or all our endangered species will lose their protection! 

rice n beans with cilantro and cold coffee

 After eating my sack lunch I drove over to the Oxpen Lakes...on the other side of the refuge road.  They have recently burned this area...I saw one Canada Goose, and one Pied Billed Grebe in the South Pond, 2 mallards flew off the North Pond when I drove up....

More Song Sparrows hopped around in the brambles...

A tree line of American Robins formed...

Then I realized my Sunny day had turned sour...

Clouds rolled in the wind picked up and it began to drip rain...A Yellow Rumped Warbler peered down  from a budding Maple tree...

And that was the final bird of the was such a primo day even the rain didn't seem to matter, it was a fitting end...and a gentle reminder that home was waiting.

Every day is a new Adventure.


  1. Nice post. You're Spring is ahead of us, especially with the buds out. Yes birds are pairing off now and beginning to nest build. The Red Cockaded Woodpecker was a good spot, do you report the ring number if you can identify it? I like the lunch , although not sure about the cold coffee.

    1. I acquired a taste for cold coffee when I worked in NYC as a paramedic, half the time asa I got coffee we'd get a call and I'd end up drinking it cold...I would report the ring if I could read it. The SC DNR most probably 'ringed' this bird, and if that is the case then it was probably Lex Glover who did it, he has been banding birds for many years in this area.

  2. We have lots of house finches here and yes they can sing a beautiful song, and a tree full of robins love that. the Red cockaded woodpecker of course is new to me. Looks like we might have some good weather next week so I may head out to Madera Canyon even if the camp ground is full I can at least take pictures.

    1. This would be an awesome time to check out Madera! There is an AZ birder Chris Rohrer, he recently blogged on early arriving Hummingbirds so be on the look out...he saw Costa's, Allens, and Anna's! Very cool! Hope you get to make the trip.

  3. Congratulations on the Red-cockaded Woodpecker sighting. You at minimum doubled my sightings and possibly tripled it. I have only ever seen one bird, one time. And by the way, your lunch looks pretty damn good!

    1. My first photo! After so many years of hoping to actually see clearly and photograph one I got 2! I was doing the DixxeDoodle!

  4. Fantastic to see the Woodpeckers, I don't think the day turning to rain would bother me after seeing those :)

    1. It really didn't it just meant I had to head home...after a great day outside in Nature!

  5. Couldn't have had a better birding day! Congratulations on the wonderful woodpeckers -- that sighting is heart-stopping even through photos -- it must have been amazing in real life!! Wow. All lovely birds and rain at the end of a day like this was really just adding to the perfection as you point out. Wow.

    1. Hi Sallie, I don't mind a little rain at the end of the In fact that is the perfect day sunny warm, lets you get out, than a rain for the trees and wildlife in the afternoon!


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