A bit of time on the Jack Pine Trail
Today, I decided to walk along the Jack Pine Trail to see if I could find some nuthatches and woodpeckers to photograph. I have had success finding Nuthatches and Pileated Woodpeckers on the Jack Pine Trail in the past, but it is quite hit and miss on any given occasion. My first stop was at the bird feeding station where five children were trying to entice the Chickadees to come down and select a seed or two from their outstretched hands. The closest fellow (in the red coat) had decided to put the seeds on his head hoping that the Chickadees would land there instead of on his hand.
The footing on the trail was well packed but quite icy so paying attention to what was underfoot was pretty important.
When I crossed the marshland, I could see that a Pileated Woodpecker had been recently hard at work creating a rather large hole in one of the trees right on the trail. Wood chips were scattered around the base of the tree, but the woodpecker wasn’t in sight. I stayed in that area hoping that it might return but only some Chickadees, a Red Squirrel and a couple of White-breasted Nuthatches came along. I could hear a Downy Woodpecker making its soft pecking sound on a nearby tree and eventually spotted it high up and out of reach of my lens.
American red squirrel – Tamiasciurus hudsonicus
White-breasted Nuthatch – Sitta carolinensis
I hoped that the Pileated Woodpecker was still in the area and, as I walked slowly along the trail, I spotted it through a maze of branches. From the number of holes in the trunk of the tree, my assumption would be that it had found a few insect larva deep inside the trunk of this tree. I was using my 80-200 mm f2.8 lens and had to switch to manual focus to penetrate past the many branches. The bird allowed me to get reasonably close before it moved to the opposite side of the trunk and then worked its way higher up the tree. Even though I couldn’t get many clear shots, it is always fun to watch the large Pileated Woodpeckers as they fling large chips out of wood out of their excavations. They are the largest American woodpecker and very efficient woodland carpenters.
Pileated Woodpecker – Dryocopus pileatus