We followed up our trip to Colorado with a week-long stay in Santa Rosa to finally meet up with Paul Dien. We got there a few days early so I spent some time birding while I was there.
Surprisingly, some of the best birding was in the backyard where several Mockingbirds visited.
After a while I began to suspect there must have been a nest nearby. I never found it, but I did get this shot of a juvenile complaining to the parent that they weren’t bringing food fast enough.
I’m not sure what the parent’s reply was, but I suspect it told the kid he was getting big enough to start looking for his own food.
Of course, no trip to Santa Rosa would be complete without a visit to Lake Ralphine and Spring Lake, and no visit would be complete without seeing the Acorn Woodpeckers. Luckily, we were greeted by a tree full of them as soon as we got out of the car.
The last time we were at the park workers were cutting down old trees that the woodpeckers were using to store their nuts, but apparently they’ve found a new home in this giant oak. There were woodpeckers from the base of the tree to the very top.
The day’s highlight was seeing the woodpeckers drive off a crow that dared to land on their tree. It happened too fast for me to capture most of what was going on, but I liked this shot of one of the woodpeckers dive-bombing the crow as it retreated.
Unfortunately, the rest of the walk wasn’t nearly as exciting since we saw very few birds, perhaps because we walked later in the day than usual and the park was more crowded than usual.
Still, I felt lucky to get a shot of this shy Oak Titmouse since I only see them in Santa Rosa, and even there only rarely.