How to find a Red-headed Woodpecker:
1: Check FLARBA updates.
2: See report of Red-headed Woodpecker on grounds of the former Riviera Middle School.
3: Drive from Dunedin to St. Petersburg,(30-40 minutes).
4: Spend an hour or so looking for the Red-headed Woodpecker, either as the sun comes up or sets
5: Drive back to Dunedin, discouraged at only hearing the incessant cries of Blue Jays.
And so I followed the above protocol on Monday afternoon, Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday morning and evening to no avail. But, finally, this morning,(to avail?), thinking this would be my last and final attempt for the Red-headed Woodpecker this time around, it was just sitting on a fence when I walked around the corner. It posed politely for a photo, before hopping onto a tree trunk for some pecking, before disappearing into a another tree. Good enough me. I finally saw the bird, proving once again that Big Years are about Patience, determination and not giving up no matter how crazy you feel wandering around a suburban neighborhood wondering if the "neighbors" are reporting you as a Peeping Tom.
Now I can move on, though it was a nice neighborhood to bird in. Mostly quiet, many dog walkers out and about, including a woman who had just yesterday seen the woodpecker hereself,(gave me hope to go on). Lots of Hawk, including a Red-Shouldered Hawk this morning, Doves, and Ibis and Killdeer, and more Blue Jays than the team I work for. The Blue Jays call is one I can add to my list, along with Osprey and Red-winged Blackbird, that I don't care for so much. Give me good ol' song birds anytime.
It is both fun and interesting that some "rare" birds are just so easy to find, the Green-tailed Towhee, for instance, that is at Possum Branch every time I visit, yet it took multiple attempts to find this guy, even though it has been seen at least once a day by others since it was first reported.
#214 for 2012: