Sapsucker seen at Fairview Farm

It was the morning of the Sapsucker!  As seven of us assembled in the parking lot in front of the cottage we heard a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker “meowing” in the distance, a good way to start the morning.  They spend the winter at Fairview in small numbers, usually one to three.  The usual birds were present in small numbers, White-breasted Nuthatches, goldfinches, Jays and bluebirds.  As is our custom, we walked to the pond hoping for a winter duck but found nothing.  As we made the turn to head to the back field I saw a reddish-brown bird fly into a tangle of vines.  Assuming it was a female cardinal, I was excited to discover a Fox Sparrow, and then another.  They were my first of the fall and a life bird for some of the members of the walk.  They are a bird that breeds in the high arctic and spends the winter in our “warm” Jersey climate.  As we got to the back field we started to see crows (American) flying over the field to the southeast.  And then there were more, and more, and more.  We watched them fly over for about 45 minutes.  We stopped counting at 420.  When we got to the next field we all got to watch an adult male Sapsucker pecking away at a tree.  It’s beautiful red head and chin reflected the bright sunlight.  And then another two Sapsuckers.  Three more in the next field!  By the end of the walk we tallied eight Sapsuckers.  Half of our group claimed we had a ninth bird.  I stuck to the conservative eight.  When we got back to the parking lot we checked the feeders. Two Red-breasted Nuthatches were plucking sunflower seeds from a hanging feeder.  What a way to end a walk, and what a morning!

Watch the video of a Sapsucker taken this morning at Fairview Farm!