Sunday, October 7, 2018

Whte-breasted Nuthatch

I can recognize the call of a White-breasted Nuthatch almost instantly from years of watching and photographing them, yet nowadays I rarely take the time to actually find them.  I add them to my bird list and travel on, listening and looking for the next bird to count.

Today was an exception.  We were birding at the Fairview Drive Wetlands, and passing through some cottonwoods and maples I thought I heard a single call.  Without a repeat to verify its presence I hesitated to add it to my list.  On the return route, I heard it again, only this time it repeated.  I decided to stop and make an honest effort to find it.  I badly needed a photo to add to my list for the day.  I searched but did not have a clue.  I next resorted to my iPhone, and using an App played out its call.  Perhaps curiousity got the best of him, he suddenly came into view.  I grabbed my camera and got off one shot before it vanished around the back of a tall tree.

I was super excited because this wetland habitat was not where I would expect to find a White-breasted Nuthatch.  I count on finding them in oak trees in drier conditions.  I reflected that I didn't think I had seen them here at Fairview Wetlands before.  When I got home and added this photo to the bird list, I checked the eBird Hot Spot, and low and behold it has never been reported before at this location. So, not only was it a first for me, but a first for the location.  Here is a link for the bird list.