While on one of my many nature walks, I took particular notice of just how quickly our summer season had transformed into fall. It seems that just a few short weeks passed and we went from enjoying a rich treeline bursting with colors, to the baron look of winter minus the coming snow. One positive of this transition is the fact that without the foliage, your ability to see and hear the calls of specific bird species is greatly increased. As I slowly moved forward on my walk, I heard a distinctive tapping from behind me, and knew quite quickly that the subject I was hoping to capture was present in the woods behind me. So backtracking I went into hunt mode, and slowly went towards the direction of the tapping. With watchful eyes, I continued to listen for taping noise as I caught first sight of the source. It was in fact a pileated woodpecker, and this species is one that I have always had an affection for because of their distinctive look and the robust call that radiates through the woods.
While on the approach, I first spotted this downy as he searched for insects in the lower part of the tree line.
As I waited for the pileated to focus on a tree, I remained still until he moved from the lower part of the wood line and took to his next tree.
After my subject flew, I made my final approach to an area that offered me the best shots, and from that point I enjoyed one spectacular show.
I have to admit, at first I wondered if this was a pileated due in part to the very light-colored bill. Some suggested it was a female but I have seen several mated pairs in the past, and I personally have never seen one with a bill this light. I was wondering if this could have been the Ivory billed species that was once thought extinct. In recent years there have been several reported sightings of the Ivory billed, but to date no one has photographic evidence.
The shots, I used apertures between 5.6 and 8 with an iso of 400. The shutter was between 1/ 500 and 1/1000 and the spot metering option was employed to capture these images. The camera was a 7d and the canon 100 to 400 l series lens was used.
Hope you enjoyed the shots.