White-headed Woodpecker

This morning I finally found a White-headed Woodpecker in the Phillip & Annie Callahan Park south of Reno. This was my third try at the site, although the visits have been limited by the need to get into work by 09:00. I’d actually  given up hope and was 40 yards from the car when a Hairy Woodpecker attracted my attention, they look quite different from the ones that dangle from the feeders at home. I was stalking the beast trying to get a photo when I heard the White-headed Woodpecker somewhere behind it. I eventually found it high in a pine of some description and it showed between the clumps of needles, sticking it’s head out once for the rather rubbish photo below. The park is quite small and has hoards of Steller’s Jays which clatter from first light but don’t always hop around in the open.

At lunchtime I had to buy a spoon, so where better to go than the discount spoon emporium, Target. In the car park the California Gulls seemed to like my breadsticks and obliged by posing, as did a smart Ring-billed Gull. Later in the day I was going to try to get south of Carson City for Western Screech-Owl, but by the time I’d reached Washoe Lake the light was going so I dropped in there and found my first Loggerhead Shrike of the trip.

The photos below are of said woodpeckers, Steller’s Jay, American Magpie, both gull species and dusk over Washoe Lake. The trip list is now up to 79 species which is not too bad considering the time constraints. Tomorrow I’m going to try to find a local White-tailed Kite before work then it is the weekend – birding time.

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First few days in Reno, Nevada

Spring birding in the driest state in the Union has been fun so far although my birding time is severly limited at the moment by my having to work! I managed a couple of hours last Sunday evening and then morning and evenings so far this week. Photo ops have not been spectacular but I`ve mostly been distracted with looking for White-headed Woodpeckers without success.

Local to the hotel is a nice wetland which is teeming with Marsh Wrens, I`ve never seen so many in one place. The same site had a hunting Short-eared Owl yesterday plus a lone Tundra Swan. Today I found my first American Avocet of the trip. When I get to the weekend the pace will quicken and I`m hoping for a few lifers. So far my trip list is a modest 60 species but I`m adding to it every day which is good.

Below a handful of photos, all taken with the Nikon P510 which seems to have a mind of its own sometimes when it comes to getting things in focus!

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