[Tweeters] Pierce County Tridactyl Woodpeckers

mvbh at nym.hush.com mvbh at nym.hush.com
Wed Sep 23 14:50:22 PDT 2015

Hello -
This is my maiden posting, as it were, and am thrilled to have
learned about this wonderful resource populated by such lovely people!

Yesterday, I hiked to Grand Park in the Mount Rainier National Park
via Eleanor Lake. Whilst there, I made the acquaintance of a young
man who also shares my passion for birds - his name escapes me, but
it was a good Austrian name. He told me about this group and
mentioned that he was a "master birder". At first, I was concerned
thinking he was some kind of deviant, but he explained further what he
meant by the term and the program that Seattle Audubon offers to
create "master birders", which sounds quite wonderful!
And Tweeters is quite wonderful! What a joy to find a place where
people of 'my ilk' (as my husband refers to you, kind lovers of avian
observation and lore), gather, inspire and inform. (Oh dear, I sound
like some corporate product slogan!) I'm quite inspired by the lovely
poems and stories that fill the posts - oh, that latest story by Mr.
Gibbons about the mouse was exquisite!
But my real reason for this post, beyond the particulars of an
introduction, is to report the birds that I observed with the young
"master birder" on Tuesday, the 22nd day of September. He was very
helpful for me as I have learned the names of birds while living in
Montréal and he knew both the English and French names for the birds,
as well as the Linnean names which seems overly pedantic in my mind,
but I suppose it is useful for some.
Regardless, about 2 miles into the jaunt just before the trail gets
steep on its climb to Grand Park (and oh my - how it was so very
Grand!), I spotted a BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER. I want to apologize
profusely ahead of time to for using "lettres majescules" - I
understand how in some circles it is SEEN AS SHOUTING, but I also have
observed that writing down species of interests in such a way always
provides for more efficient scanning.
The all black back was the most salient feature of this woodpecker
and I was close enough to see the subtle white eye-ring. It was a
female bird who graced me with its presence as its head was all black.

Further down the trail, I heard the telltale TAP TAP of another
woodpecker and was quite delighted to see an AMERICAN THREE-TOED
WOODPECKER with its golden crown, white/black dorsal barring and white
moustachial. The speckling on the face gave the bird a rather snowy
look to it, a reminder of how soon the chilly weather will be
Other birds that may be of interest include about 60 AMERICAN PIPITs
flitting about in the Grand Park - and at the fault of appearing
redundant, this area as quite "grand". The "Mountain", as I know you
locals call it, seemed even more majestic than I have remembered in
the short time of my living here and Mount Fremont was this delicious
russet color.
Oh yes, and one other bird of interest is the NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL. I
did not actually see it, but its doleful tooting could be heard from
the trailhead parking lot.
Well, I suppose I could go on, but it seems unseemly to ramble on too
long for this, my maiden posting.
All my best,
Margot von Boosen-Helmer

Beaux Arts, Washington

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