Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Search for Red


My purpose, this past Monday, in going out to my favorite park was to see if the red-winged blackbird was back here in southeastern Michigan. I had one visiting my backyard feeder, but I hadn’t heard him or any others singing, my true harbinger of spring.

Everybody’s in a hurry. Why not stop and just enjoy a spot of sunlight?

I knew if they were anywhere, they’d be at Kensington which has large marshy areas and more importantly, people with food for the birds.

Hey lady! I’ll pose for peanuts!

When I arrived I drove past the heron rookery in case the eagle happened to be there, and since he (or she?) was not, I didn’t bother to walk over there after I parked. Instead I considered which trail might be most effective for finding the blackbirds.

I’ll keep watch for you lady! My fee is mere peanuts!

And then I remembered that I have been seeing beautiful images of the illusive (to me anyway) red headed woodpecker taken at this park. And I knew, from those pictures, what area of the trail system he had usually been seen.

I don’t see any red birds over this way. Do you happen to have any peanuts?

So I decided to go check that out before more people showed up. I had only seen one other car in the lot, and I didn’t want a lot of people clomping around scaring off my birds! And speaking of clomping, I was wearing my Yax grippers, and let me tell you, wearing those on ice makes it impossible to sneak up on anything!

The trails were covered in ice, no problem for the big guy.

I arrived at the location I thought I’d find the red headed and there wasn’t a bird to be seen. Nothing. Not a sparrow or a mourning dove. Not a starling or a cardinal. No hawk, no crow. No bird sounds. I stood there a long time. Then I sighed and walked off down the trail, head down, dragging my heavy camera in defeat.

Guy with really big camera charges off into the woods and missed the big show.

And then I heard the little squeak of a nuthatch. He was poking his head up over a slightly hollow stump. Someone had left some millet in the stump and he was poking around eating what he could find

Hey! Don’t suppose you have a peanut for me?

He was adorable. And then there was a second set of squeaking, and I saw a second nuthatch on a nearby tree. Beautiful.

If there are peanuts, I’m in!

I walked over to their stump and put a few peanuts in there, as sort of a reward for posing so nice for me, and then I backed up and waited. Soon enough they were both running around on their stump, and my camera was following them.

She didn’t put very many in here, we better get our share!

And then I heard a bigger squawk. OMG, look what came in for a peanut!

I have arrived!

Well, look at both of them, the red headed and a male downy woodpecker, tucked in lower on the right side of the stump. I could hardly breath as I was shooting.

The little male downy wasn’t sure he was invited.

And even when the red headed flew up into the tree he didn’t go far.

Getting a snack to take up into the trees.

He kept posing for me, up and over branches, in and out of the sun. My arms ached from holding the big heavy lens up toward the sky.

I loved the tree limbs in this one.

But I couldn’t stop smiling.

He looks small here, like a hummingbird, but he’s definitely a good sized woodpecker!

I clicked away until I finally gave up. He wasn’t moving, and I had no idea if I had anything worthwhile.

I’m watching you lady!

Still smiling, I walked away. After all, I had to go find my blackbirds!

Don’t forget about me, lady! I won’t be around here much longer!

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

12 thoughts on “Search for Red

  1. You take the best bird photos, Dawn. The woodpeckers–they are beauties, but that little squirrel–the pose is adorable. Lots of peanuts for you, little one.


  2. Score! Great photos! 😊


  3. Such a gorgeous red head! Sounds to me like everybody was hungry. I assume you brought lots of treats to pass around? That squirrel posed so prettily, but Monkey would’ve chased him around in a heartbeat! I’d never heard of Yax before, but that sounds like something I ought to invest in.


  4. Oh! Beautiful! I have never seen a red-headed woodpecker in person.


  5. That red-headed woodpecker is gorgeous! What a great find.


  6. How fun was that… thank you so much for the smiles!


  7. Great photos! Fun to see the birds through your camera lens:)


  8. Excitement! We don’t have red-headed woodpeckers in Maine, and I have never seen one. Beautiful bird.


  9. The squirrel photo is perfect. I admire your ability to capture good photos of birds. And the red feathers, amazing.


  10. Pingback: But what about the blackbird? | Change Is Hard

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 )

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.