We were out the door at 5 AM and traveled through snow storms to arrive at the bog by 7 AM. Good news - no snowmobile or dog tracks in the fresh snow. We were the first people there. Brandon got a tip about the location of Black-backed Woodpeckers just up the road so we started there. It took Big Daddy Alyssa (AKA Cupcake) about 4 minutes to spot the bird! It was hammering away at a tree right beside the road. Unbelievable. We all oggled it and snapped some photos when here comes a huge snow plow. We thought it was the end of our encounter but that little sucker stayed put.
A few things to note about this woodpecker. First, it has a solid black back (hence, the name). Second, it has a yellow cap. Most woodpeckers have red caps. Appropriately, the third fact is that this woodpecker only has 3 toes. Most woodpeckers have 4 toes. All of these ID traits can be seen in the photo below.
It is really difficult to get a photo that is in focus of a woodpecker when they are pecking. Here is a video which is pretty good and shows the little guy at work. Check it out.
We headed back into the bog trail to try our luck with Spruce Grouse and Boreal Chickadee but came up short. Who cares. We saw a Black-backed Woodpecker! And the Gray Jays cheerily met us along the path again. We fed them cinnamon buns. Oh, and a few more cuties like this Red-breasted Nuthatch.
And this adorable Red Squirrel chowing down on the yummy peanut butter that was slathered on the feeder. Zoom in and you can see his little mouth getting ready to chomp on the peanut butter.
|The Bog Gang|