Monday, May 17, 2021

Pileated Woodpecker at Castle Crags (a first for us!)


It's been a tough year for blogging about much of anything, but that doesn't mean I haven't been seeing some extraordinary sights as far as birds are concerned. A few weeks ago we had our first opportunity to actually travel anywhere at all, and our journey as the newly-vaccinated took us to visit family in Oregon. Along the way we hopped out of the car for a short break at Castle Crags State Park just off Interstate 5 near Dunsmuir and Shasta City. The park provides access to some simply awesome granite cliffs that rise above the deep forests of the Klamath Mountains.

I was anxious to get out and go birdwatching in a new place, and set off on a nearby nature trail, and after a mile I had seen a number of birds (reminder that zero IS a number). I was feeling a bit disappointed, but when I got back to the parking lot I found Mrs. Geotripper fiddling with her camera trying to photograph something in the tree above. I looked up and saw to my great shock and pleasure that she had found a Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus). It was a first for both of us. I got a single decent picture (above), but Mrs. Geotripper got a couple of moments of video showing the bird pecking the bark from the severely unhealthy tree.

Castle Crags is a delightful small park with a decent campground and a spectacular viewpoint that takes in the Crags as well as nearby Mt. Shasta. Check it out if you ever find yourself traveling Interstate 5 on the way to Mt. Shasta or Oregon! Visitor details at: Castle Crags SP