Jul 11
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Red-cockaded Woodpeckers

After a quick hour of travel to Webb Wildlife Management Area with a bus-load of Wild Birds Unlimited store owners, we step off the bus to low humidity and 82° F. There are no bugs. Is this really the South in summer?

We begin meandering down the gravel lane with clear views through the pine stands on either side of us.

The first bird calling is the Bachmann’s Sparrow. Do you hear its whistle-note followed by a trill reminiscent of a towhee? Look, here it is in the spotting scope.

Do you hear the Northern Bobwhite’s calling to each other? “Bob, bob, WHITE”

Wow! Our target bird for the day! See the woodpeckers with the big white patches on their cheeks? Those are Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. There are three of them at eye-level flaking bark off the pines to find insects. (pictured above)

Just down the lane is a Blue Grosbeak in the grass. What a view!

There’s an Eastern Bluebird perched on the nest box.

On the utility wire above is another “blue” bird, the Indigo Bunting, singing “fire, fire, where, where, here, here, see it see it.”

Oh, look, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird is chasing the Indigo.

Someone found a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nest. Look in the scope. You can see the babies’ heads pop up when mom and dad come in with caterpillars.

Listen! Do you hear the squeak-toy call of the Brown-headed Nuthatch? There they are. I see them; a foraging family group.

Do you see the Northern Parula? Its throat and chest are yellow but so is its lower bill. See how brilliant the yellow is in the sunlight?

Here comes another group of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. There are five this time.

Too bad we didn’t see the Mississippi Kites. Oh, wait, there’s one!

What a perfect day for bird watching!

Have you ever had a perfect day outdoors?

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