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White-headed Woodpecker

White-headed Woodpecker
By – 1:48 pm
I visited Palomar State Park this morning hoping to see the WH woodpecker reported there this weekend. I have been looking for that species there for several years following a tip from the ranger – finally got it! It was an easy bird to find as it was calling as I arrived at the GPS location given by Sadowski/Jehl/Lehman et all, in their checklist. It was moving around the trees at the meadow edge. Mostly it was out of sight and would be easy to miss if it wasn’t calling. Watching it for a bit, I realized it was returning to the same tree which had a set of sapwells. I waited and watched at that tree and was able to get some photos. The bird never moved more than 30 yards in any direction, but was usually out of sight. Here is my write-up from my checklist: Continuing female. Seen 1.16 miles from parking lot. Nature trail to Weir trail – go past Baptist trail. Bird is actually on Weir Trail. GPS provided by the first group is perfect – first heard and saw the bird right there: 33°20’44” N 116°54’34” W. Elevation about 4600 ft.Vocalized frequently double/triple peek calls, especially when moving from tree to tree. Seen in trees bordering the meadow NE of trail. Observed bark flicking. She also visited a set of sap wells more than once. The wells do not look fresh but there are a few places with sap leaking out – maybe looking for bugs in the holes? Pine tree with sapwells here: 33°20’47” N 116°54’36” W ( just a few yards beyond the original location) She hitched down the tree trunks tail first, unlike the sapsuckers that move up the trunk. Checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S97941325  Nancy ChristensenRamona