Bird-Brained Quest

Inadvertently, I’ve had a winter project. After a fleeting sighting early in winter, a woodpecker has been taunting me. For months. I was only able to catch a shadowy, blurry far-off photo – but it was definitive: a red-bellied woodpecker had arrived in Altona Forest.

I love woodpeckers.

I’ve spilled coffee. Burned my lunch. I’ve sat holding a camera waiting for him to appear until my arm ached… all trying to get photos of him (her?). Dozens of irredeemably blurry photos.

He frequents the blue trail from posts 17-20 between the trail and the houses.

He even visits my garden and enjoys my suet – but he does not stay still – a flash of red and he’s gone. Wants my hospitality but won’t pose. I know he’s mocking me. Mocking! Don’t let the sweet face, elegant shape, and incredibly marked wings of this Carolinian cutie fool you. He loves teasing and taunting.

It’s almost as though he’s decided to tolerate the gaze of my cat (who has a crush on him) but flee at even the shape of me. Of course, he’s invariably right there when I least expect it – and gone if I so much as move a muscle. I’ve luckily been able to see him at very close range at the suet that hangs on the house wall – about 8ft from me and my coffee.

Another cruel joke is the name ‘red-bellied’ woodpecker. What red belly?

So that’s my winter… outwitted by a bird brain!

(And postponing my monthly article just to show him to you… finally)


(That’s my Altona story – I want to hear yours – what have you been seeing or doing in the forest? Post your stories & photos on


Bird-Brained Quest ~ © 2017 Natasha G








This entry was posted in Along the Trails, Creatures of Altona and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s