After a three week absence the Red-bellied Woodpecker returned to our garden feeders this morning (and for Feederwatch, too) and hung around just long enough for some record shots.

I have posted the photographs as a ‘gallery’ this time … clicking on any of the thumbnails below will open the gallery and you can scan back and forth … the pictures are a higher quality when shown like this.

Breaking News – ten minutes after originally making this post in the journal we had the Red-bellied Woodpecker plus both of the Carolina Wrens plus a White and a Red-breasted Nuthatch and assorted Redpolls, Cardinals, D and H Woodpeckers and Chickadees in the garden and around the feeders simultaneously.

It is quite remarkable, the number of “new” birds that are arriving and, what’s more, sticking around these days – presumably encouraged by climatic changes.  The Carolina Wrens we have written about often in recent weeks are now so regular in the west island that the Feederwatch default submission list on their websites no longer considers them to be rare and includes them as a baseline option.  I wonder how long it will be before the RBWOs attain this status? Not wishing to blow our own trumpet, but it is clear that having the garden designed and managed for wildlife, especially birds, and with a wide range of feeder options greatly increases the likelihood of exotic birds arriving.


Technical note for photographers … most of my images for the past few years have been taken using a variety of Canon DSLR cameras with up to 400mm lenses.  Excellent as these are (and they are) they are large and clumsy and never easily to hand when something interesting appears in the garden.  Accordingly, for the past couple of weeks I have been taking many images with one of the new type “mirrorless interchangeable lens” cameras (MILC).  Specifically a Sony NEX-7 with their 18-200mm zoom lens.  Apart from being small and light, it has a 24 megapixel screen which allows for very high level cropping … and not a tiny screen either, it’s the same size as the big Canon camera screens.  I can’t recommend this portable option highly enough – if interested you can find out more at This is small enough to carry around without worrying about the weight, easily kept in the window “just in case” and produces a quality of image not available from other small cameras … the technology is improving almost daily.