Thursday, February 5, 2015

Stalking a Pileated Woodpecker, O Deer!

The morning was clear and the air was still over the lake, just before sunrise:

Harbour Lakes2 south HDR COREL 20150123

Harbour Lakes south HDR COREL 20150123

A female Belted Kingfisher flew by. The light was poor but I tried to bring the photo back to life:

Belted Kingfisher female 20150123

The shadows lengthened:

Selfie shadow 20150123

On our local wetlands we occasionally hear, but seldom see, my favorite woodpecker, the crow-sized Pileated Woodpecker. For two days in a row, just after sunrise, as I was watching for eagles on the peninsula on the lake in the wetlands I spotted two. 

The Pileateds were roosting on a dead pine that protruded high above the densely packed Melaleucas, about 0.3 miles (~480 meters) to the north of my position. Yesterday they simply disappeared before I approached about halfway. This morning one stayed high in the tree as I closed the distance.

Pileated Woodpecker 3-20150123

Although I was out in the middle of the gravel road, in full view, I walked slowly without swinging my arms, hoping the woodpecker would stay in place. 

Suddenly an adult female White-tailed Deer moved in from among the shrubs that bordered a small field on my right. I stopped and she stared at me, trying to identify me.

White-tailed doe 3-20150123

I too stopped, and waited while one, then another yearling appeared from the shrubbery: 

White-tailed doe and fawn 20150123

The third deer had an opaque cornea and obviously was partially blind:

White-tailed one-eyed fawn 20150123

She tilted her head to look at me with her good eye:

White-tailed doe and fawns 2-20150123

I edged to the right, hoping that if the deer fled they would pass right in front of me. They did move in the direction of the guard rail that will one day border the temporarily abandoned and unfinished highway.

White-tailed doe and fawns 3-20150123

The deer then took turns jumping over the rail! (If the video does not appear in the space below CLICK HERE)

After getting great shots of them jumping, I continued to move towards the woodpecker. It was still in the tree, a male, as evidenced by the red line over his "mustache." Suddenly he seemed to realize that I was looking at him and he took flight.

 Pileated Woodpecker 2-20150123

Pileated Woodpecker in flight 20150123

Then I heard the typical slow and loud drumming and I knew it was from their favorite site, an older power pole, so I crept towards it. Sure enough the male was there. I could not get a clear shot as he was partly obscured by the wires. He did not stay long.

Pileated Woodpecker 5-20150123

On my way home, only one door from the house, two more woodpeckers provided a splendid bonus photo-op! This is the male Red-bellied Woodpecker on a tree next to the sidewalk, showing all possible views of his head:

Red-bellied Woodpecker 3-20150123

Red-bellied Woodpecker 2-20150123

Red-bellied Woodpecker 20150123

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa). 

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart


Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display



  1. Grerat post, Ken! I love the woodpeckers, sky shots and the pretty deer. Have a happy day!

  2. These are all great shots!
    I love the ones of the deers and the video of them :)
    Have a fine day

  3. What awesome photos...really enjoyed the little video.

  4. what an awesome posts.....filled with all my favorite things!! the deer stole the show for me but all your images are wonderful!!!!

  5. Lovely gifts from nature sure are right here. Thank you.

  6. great woodpecker shots and such sweet deer! the opening shots are so beautiful. thanks, ken!

  7. The deer are graceful and beautiful. I'd love to see a PW. You got a fantastic shot of it in flight. I also love your captures of the Red-bellied Woodies.

  8. I would say that you had a most satisfying day...great day to be out and about.

  9. Fantastic light before sunrise. Marvellous shots of the woodpeckers especially the one in flight. ALL the Deer are so beautiful

  10. Wonderful post. Spotting those graceful and beautiful deer must have been thrilling. I've never seen a Pilated Woodpecker before, they do look very large. You got great shots of all the animals and birds.

  11. Outstanding photos Kenneth. You captured the birds in flight beautifully and the deer jumping. Such beautiful things they are. I always get excited when I see one, always as if for the first time. Loved the woodpeckers.

  12. Really beautiful photos! I like the ones of the deer and the video. They are very graceful. Your captures of the Pileated Woodpecker are wonderful, especially the full flight one.

  13. Great photos, especially the deer!

  14. the woodpeckers...both are gorgeous and what a wonderful encounter with the deer. so sad about the eye of the one doe.

    beautiful sunrise.

  15. Wow - a fabulous set of shots. So much beauty!

  16. WOW! You had a brilliant photo day! I love love love the deer, they're so pretty! The woodpeckers are pretty darn cute too, loving their colouring

  17. That is an amazing posting of so many wonderful things! Love the deer and the woodpeckers and the video!

  18. Hi Ken, stopping back to say thank you for linking up and sharing your post. have a happy weekend!

  19. Fantastic views of the sky and birds. Nice shot of the bird in flight.

  20. An absolute amazing series of photos! At first this sunrise and then all these wonderful birds and deers! So great!!!

  21. Awesome sets! This post would be my whole month if I had gotten those shots.


  22. The PWP is such a great bird! First time I saw one I got very, very excited!

    Nice set of picture.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  23. Fabulous photos! I love the woodpeckers and the deer are gorgeous animals.

  24. Super post Ken and great series of images of the Woodpeckers and the inquisitive Deer.

  25. Pilated Woodpecker? Oh my.....color me filled to the brim with envy!!! They're spotted in Houston...but I hate Houston traffic. LOL

    Wonderfully composed, beautiful images Ken.

    I'm so happy you decided to share this link for the weekend!! GREAT post.

  26. Your sunrise photos are amazing! And I love your woodpeckers and deer! Great post!

  27. Hello Ken! Thank you for sharing these beautiful nature images, starting with the exquisite sunrise images. The deers look so graceful jumping over the railing and you took some charming images of them looking at you. How fortunate to see not one species of woodpecker, but two, and you got great shots of both.
    Best Regards.

  28. Impressive shots of the Pileated and the Red-bellied. I'm still waiting for the perfect Pileated shot to come my way. Your sunrise photos are magnificent.

  29. Terrific series of images, Ken! I'm with you, the Pileated is a special bird. Very nice bonus with the cooperative deer and the handsome Red-bellied Woodpecker!

    Hope Spring comes soon for us all.

  30. What a treasure to have discovered this blog (via TexWisGirl)! I have stocked Pileated Woodpeckers as well. (Mostly unsuccessfully.)
    My last sighting of one was in the summer of 2013 (also Green Herons in that . We no longer have a vehicle (but use our bicycles), so our outings are much closer to home these days, Here's the link (also green herons in that post.. yours are fabulous!):

  31. Faboulous shots and birds, deers..greetingfrom Belgium.

  32. A terrific series Ken! Wow, that Pileated is awesome.

  33. Superb Woodpecker shots, especially the inflight one. Love the deer too.

  34. Beautiful woodpeckers both ... And such a deer bonus! What a wonderful day in nature.


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