Lewis’s Woodpecker – Another for the Life List


The Lewis’s Woodpecker is a rarity in Texas, just a very few sightings per year.  In fact, I had never seen one.  I heard about a year ago that one had been seen down around the rodeo grounds at Junction, Texas, but I didn’t make it down to check it out.  But a couple of days ago, my neighborhood friend, Carl Williams, spotted and photographed a bird that he couldn’t identify.  We got together, looked at our field guides and discovered that it was the Lewis’s Woodpecker.

So this morning, Ann and I set out to see if we could spot it.  We headed for Middle Concho Park, where Carl and seen it.  He described the location where he had seen it so we headed there.  Immediately, when we neared the area Ann spotted it atop a dead tree, about thirty feet above the ground.  Lewis’s Woodpeckers have a tendency to hang around the same area, and even in the same tree.  That was a fortunate break for us.  It was added to my life list as Number 253, if you’re counting.

Lewis’s Woodpecker

I wish the light could have been better, but when stalking any bird, and you  only get one shot, you take what you can get.  In this case, it was a harsh early morning sun.  It was about 35 feet in the air so I was shooting upward at an angle with my Canon EOS 7D with 500mm lens and 1.4 teleconverter.  Considering my distance from the tree, I was probably a good 50 yards from the subject.

While we were out there, we checked out the usual spots and discovered that the young Great Horned Owl was back in the same tree in Spring Creek Park as it was several days ago.  Here is the photo that I got today, an image of him showing me his backside.

Great Horned Owl, juvenile

Further along the river we also spotted this juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron.  He has a dour expression, and looking at that scat on the log, I wonder if he has a sour stomach.  He was about 150 yards away across the river and we almost missed seeing him.  Captured with my 500mm lens and 1.4 teleconverter, supported on my window with my Noodle.

Black-crowned Night Heron – juvenile

Enjoy the photos.  Click on any image to see an enlargement.

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28 thoughts on “Lewis’s Woodpecker – Another for the Life List

    • Wow, that would be great to see all of one species in one hike. That’s amazing, Tracy. I can see, usually, only three or four, on an average day in the park where I like to go birding. Thanks for your comment.

  1. I took pictures of the Lewis’s woodpecker this past Wednesday in Middle Concho Park. It was the first time I had ever seen one. I wish I could find the owl at Spring Creek. As always, I love your pictures.

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