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Alex Douglas-Kane shares her experiences and understanding of Discover Nature Awareness

Sunday, 11 July 2010

The Dance of the Townsend's Solitaire

While I was on a trip to Seattle I went birding for the day with a friend who I had met through birding pal. One of my target birds was the White-headed Woodpecker (Picoides albolarvatus) which is a non-migratory bird that resides in the mountains of Western North America.

We visited a homestead where we spent a good hour or two watching the bird feeder in the garden of the owners. Were where more or less guaranteed to see this woodpecker, as they regularly feed at the bird table, but guess what we didn't see them and we had to move on to the next place which was a woodland further too the north.

While driving up the mountain road I spotted a
Townsend's Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi) which is a medium-sized thrush, and the only solitaire native to America north of Mexico. It was flying back and fourth and had really caught my attention, it was as if it wanted me to see it. We stopped the car and got out to watch it, after a short while it flew off.

I then decided to walk up the road for a bit to see what else I could find, and as we looked out over the valley I noticed some movement in a tree not to far away I brought my bins (binoculars) up and low and behold there was my first ever White-headed Woodpecker.

I jumped for joy and my friend was very pleased that I had found it in the wild and not on a bird table, I have to I agree with her.

Thanks Rachel for a great day out.

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