Relative newcomers John and Carolyn Wilson are becoming serious documenters of the phenology of local wildlife and photographers of same (with real lenses). They supply constant water on their forest- edge holding 12 miles from town, which has already paid off in photos of bandtail pigeon and goshawk. Now John has gotten a good portrait of a Lewis’s woodpecker. They are odd birds, not very common and living an un- woodpecker- like “lifestyle” between that of a flicker and a flycatcher; I have mostly seen them in pasture country, sitting on wires and hawking flying insects.
The other interesting recent one needs explanation. Our favorite town birding spot or at least the most productive is what we call “Lake Magdalena”, the sewage pond just to our north. Every water- loving migrant that passes seems to find it; I have seen white pelicans among other things. It is especially attractive to ducks; the late Floyd Mansell once drove me out to see something but would not tell me what until I had seen for myself. On the pond were about ten black scoters, salt- water ducks I had last seen in the winter surf off Duxbury Beach in Massachusetts. “I didn’t want to tell you because if they had left you might not have believed it”.
On this photo the old Magdalena Cemetery, where Floyd and other friends rest, is at the top, the “lake” below, graced with a flock of white- faced glassy ibises. Double or right- click to enlarge.