Saturday, May 1, 2010
Standing at the back of the lot and gazing into the shallow valley of Maples and Ashes, I hear the soft call of a Flicker and catch a movement on an Ash branch. There is a pair of Flickers, flirting. Bobbing heads and playing hide and seek around trunks. They stay still for several seconds, and then surprise each other by leaping up and flashing their yellow underwings. When one flies off, the other follows, and when one lands, it says softly "whicka, whicka, whicka". I lose sight of them often as they move about their territory, but it is not hard to sight them again as their play continues. I hear a heavy landing among the leaf litter in an open space, and then another. Peering around tree trunks, I can see them chasing each other back and forth with big hops and excited emphatic squeaks. Then one flies off, the white rump patch easy to follow. It's nice they have this undisturbed place where they can pursue their courtship game without cre or interruption... with complete abandon!
Other birds are audible, but not seen. A woodpecker taps on a hard hollow place somewhere high and beyond this place, Ratatatat, tap, tap, ta-tap, tap, tap... and Chickadees call, as well as a couple of birds I can't identify, and the ubiquitous Robins.
At 1045 a Spring Peeper calls a few times. I fail to get a clear enough view of the Flickers for a photo. At 10:50 a Gray Tree Frog starts up, nearby in the Manitoba Maples that surround the lot. Distant noise of traffic, and the Flickers continue their flirtation. No mating seen.