Flickers are woodpeckers that wannabe robins

Although they have the classic woodpecker beaks and stiff tails, they run around lawns and hunt grubs and worms. To me they always look awkward on the ground and can’t run as well as a robin

Robin-the-Flicker
Robin-the-Flicker

In the next picture you can see its stiff woodpecker tail and claws that can still hang vertically on trees.

Flicker 2
Flicker 2

Here, by comparison, is a more conventional woodpecker, although not one I have seen around here ever before.  It is a red-bellied woodpecker which is an odd name for a woodpecker that does not have a red belly.  We are at the extreme northern edge of its range but after this year’s extremely prolonged cold, it might be regretting moving up here.

Red-bellied woodpecker
Red-bellied woodpecker

Woodcarving Woodpeckers and an Oriole

Although these carvings were made by talented humans, they slowly rot and need some maintenance. So who would you hire, but a professional woodcarver to do the maintenance?

Flicker woodcarving
Flicker woodcarving

I posted this picture in an earlier entry but it fits the theme.

Woodpecker carving
Woodpecker carving

This oriole came to sit on the hummingbird feeder, even though it can’t feed from it, but it seemed like it wanted to keep an eye on what was going on inside.  It stayed about half an hour, just looking around, so I was able to get this close up.

Oriole close up
Oriole close up

Thick and Fast They Came at Last – the Flickers arrive

When spring arrives in Kawartha Lakes, everything happens at once.  More spring migrants arrived today.

These flickers seem strange to me.  They are woodpeckers that feed like robins.  Makes sense if you prefer worms to headaches.  I didn’t get time to switch to video because a couple of tiny juncos arrived and scared it off.  I expect it will be back, they usually hang about for a few weeks before disappearing again.

Flicker
Flicker
Flicker
Flicker

In case you aren’t a Lewis Carroll fan, the title is from “The Walrus and the Carpenter”: “Thick and fast they came at last, and more, and more, and more”. From Alice through the looking glass. I used to know the whole poem but now down to only a page or so. Time to re-read. Poor oysters 😥

Medium Ice Storm yesterday

We had an ice storm yesterday. Even though it was somewhat destructive, it did have its beauty; here are some pictures of ice-coated plants and a few birds having a difficult time perching.

We had an ice storm yesterday.  We were luckier than many of our neighbours as our power was only out for three hours. Others had to wait about 24 hours, including Pontypool stores.  We drove up highway 35 for a little way, to go from Pontypool to Nestleton to find an open store.  We saw lots of trees on power lines, snapped power poles and lots of trucks with cherry-pickers repairing the lines.  Even though it was somewhat destructive, it did have its beauty; here are some pictures of ice-coated plants and a few birds having a difficult time perching.  Several skidded right off our deck, trying to land close to seeds we put out.

Cardinal on iced thorn bush
Cardinal on iced thorn bush
Mourning dove on iced vine
Mourning dove on iced vine

A couple of trees:

 

Iced corkscrew hazel
Iced corkscrew hazel
Ice covered birch
Ice covered birch

 

Here are a couple of shots of a Northern Flicker.  They are a variety of woodpecker that does not usually feed on trees.  It is looking for some grubs in the (frozen) lawn in these shots.

Thrasher on iced lawn
Thrasher on iced lawn
Thrasher on iced lawn
Thrasher on iced lawn

Here is a short video clip of the thrasher, which demonstrates how it got its name.

Flicker

(Click link to view Flash video)