One of my favorite things about photographing wildlife is that nothing is predictable, every photo is a gift of coincidence with the right camera settings focused on the subject that has just come into view. Downy woodpeckers are cute little forest birds, and I usually see them on tree branches (see below). So imagine my surprise as I paddled along the Raquette River and heard the distinctive rat-a-tat-tat of woodpeckers and looking around I saw these two (above) on an old decaying tree stump along the riverbank. Perfect! Male (red stripe) and female, the couple seemed to be hunting for dinner in the old wood. They obliged me with a pose just long enough for a good shot (not easy in a kayak floating with the current!). Below is a different downy woodpecker on a branch in the forest:
Here I am paddling along the Raquette River:
Another bird that I’ve only seen here in the north woods is the red-breasted grosbeak, a very good looking small bird, black feathers with a bright red splotch on the breast and white underneath:
The grosbeak loves to eat berries just like the cedar waxwings:It’s also dragonfly season along the lakes and the array of colors and wingspreads is amazing:This osprey is standing guard on a nest high in a dead tree in a swampy pond along the road:
One more look at the downy woodpecker:Heading out for another kayak ride… check back for more wild things!