Tuesday, May 10, 2011
VT - Black-backed Woodpecker - 05/04
Black-backed Woodpecker - male, Moose Bog, Wenlock WMA, Ferdinand Co., VT. May 4th, 2011. Our only 'boreal' specialty of the day...but a good one and an ABA Code 2 species.
Susannah and I took our chances on an 'iffy' weather forecast and headed for the North-east Kingdom of Vermont for a long day out. The day remained soggy and gloomy and certainly didn't brighten up from noon as had been predicted...but it was still a marvelous day and very pleasant to have our chosen area (Moose Bog) entirely to ourselves.
The weather may have impacted our chance of seeing Spruce Grouse and the closest we got was the 'whirring' of wings disappearing into the forest as we rounded a promising looking corner. If seeing boreal birds was a our only goal we would have been disappointed but something of the day was salvaged with a fine male Black-backed Woodpecker before it too disappeared into the wet forest. Moose Bog has proven to be an incredibly consistent spot for this species over the last few years and I've found them on all my visits.
Throughout the day the most prominent songsters were Winter Wrens (8+) and Golden-crowned Kinglets, and we saw several Hermit Thrushes including one very gray bird which closely resembled one of the pallid, gray Interior Western forms. Unfortunately, by that stage in the day, my camera had frozen due to wet and cold and I only just managed to get the shot of the woodpecker featured above.