Markus J. Lise markusonmill at speedline.ca
Sat Feb 9 20:33:47 EST 2002

Hello Fellow Birders:

Wow!  From a perch astride a tree branch, a greenish-black bird with a deep
crimson face, a gray collar and breast, a dark red face and reddish belly
swept forth through the air.  In flight, darkness, large size and slow
steady wingbeats gave it a crowlike appearance.  Judging by its graceful and
steady movement through the air, the uninitiated might guess it's a small
CROW, EUROPEAN STARLING or possibly a KINGBIRD.  Actually, it was a LEWIS'
WOODPECKER who was hitching up the trunk of a tree at the end of the dead
end road called Leavitt Rd., periodically chipping off the bark and
chiseling into the wood in search of beetles.  And the next moment it was
floating with an effortless glide overhead up into the next tree on Teal Rd.
and back again.  It was a tremendous show for Jeanne & my drive through the
country side.  We sighted 6 RED TAILED HAWKS along the way up.

This unusual bird was a delight to see today at 3:30 p.m.  What an
experience it must have been years ago for Meriwether Lewis who with William
Clark in 1804-06 led an expedition from St. Louis to the Pacific coast to
explore the area of the Louisiana Purchase.  Their efforts produced a wealth
of information about the region -not least, perhaps, the discovery of a
singular woodpecker.

On our way back home we sighted a number of birds at the Birdhouse Shop
CHICKADEES & PINE GROSBEAKS had visited the many feeders out in front of the
Shop.  It drew our attention to the Shop which has more variety of Bird
feeders & houses than I have ever seen in my life.  The lady in charge was
right up to date on the LEWIS' WOODPECKER and had several photos on display
including photos of the particular bird that we have all been enjoying.  She
will be an excellent source for the latest on the bird as well as having a
large supply of feed and feeders.  She gave me her e-mail #:
connie at thebirdhouse.on.ca

Directions:  Take # 522 exit from Highway # 401 NW on County Rd 40 which
changes names in Wooler to County Rd. 5.  Once you are through Wooler there
is the St Alphonsus Catholic Church on your left (not your right as one of
the last directions was given).  And approximately .9 km. past the church
turn right on Teal Rd.  Almost immediately turn left on Leavitt Rd.  The
road  is narrow but as soon as you get to the picnic table with # 76, stop
and respect the privacy of the family living in the house at the end of the
road and take in the show.  Recline the back rest of your car seat.  You
might want to take a nap but for us there were just too many birds to see.

Markus J. Lise
Newcastle, On

"Markus J. Lise" <markusonmill at speedline.ca>

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