Woodpecker variety in northeast GGP

Richard Bradus

Hi all

Spent a bit of the noon hour along the Phil Arnold Oak Woodland Trail in GGP (north of McLaren Lodge and around the Horseshoe Courts). While I did not see the Red-naped Sapsucker that Brian T. reported on the 10th, there were five species of woodpecker and a couple of different subspecies, most of which spent some time in a couple of adjoining eucalyptus trees (but frustratingly high up - I have the resulting stiff neck!). 

The expected contingent included Red-shafted Flicker, Nuttal's, Downy and Hairy plus a typical Red-breasted Sapsucker (presumably daggetti). Providing some interesting contrast (as reported on eBird yesterday by Peter and Rudy et. al.) was a darker red-headed and breasted (ruber) Sapsucker showing a yellowish upper belly. And there was an intergrade Flicker with a red nape crescent and partly black, partly red whisker stripe that, interestingly, showed what looked to me like mostly reddish wing linings. And, befitting the mostly sunny and warm mid-day, there was some early breeding activity with a few songs or fragments from some of the small birds, plus a mating pair of Red-tails. 

Worth skipping lunch for! Though, if you decide to check out the area, I would advise going either in the morning or mid-afternoon, as the sun (and bright sky) was a major hindrance to fully visualizing these birds up high.

Richard Bradus
San Francisco