13th try is a charm. Pileated Woodpecker in Redwood Regional Park

Bruce Mast

Hello East Bay and Countybirders,
If you get rare bird alerts from eBird, you've probably seen recent reports of Pileated Woodpecker in the Alameda County portion of Redwood Regional Park. I went back this morning, for the 13th time in the last 15 months, to look for this Lord God Bird.

Following up on recent reports of a PIWO excavating a cavity near Trails End, I focused my attention on that area. I first heard a long repeated call, similar to a Flicker, from up canyon (Contra Costa County). I started walking in that direction and a large, crow-sized, black woodpecker with white wing patches flew over my head, still calling. It landed on a tree over my head and then quickly hopped over to a snag, where it went to work on a cavity that was already partially excavated. The cavity was in a snag that stood in the creek bottom just upstream from the Trails End bathrooms. It was noteworthy for being covered with those yellow semi-circular mushroom / fungus growths, unlike the live trees around it. The cavity was about 30 ft high and facing the trail. The bird worked quietly while other pedestrians wandered past. I tried to take pictures but discovered that my camera lacked a memory card. Doh! I've included one photo in my eBird list that I took with my cellphone through my binoculars.

On to my next county nemesis bird: Calliope Hummingbird.

Bruce Mast

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