Invasion before dusk

Today just about a half-hour before the sun went down my husband heard some strange sound when he was ready to roll into our garage. “Get your camera!”  He rushed into the house and also grabbed his. When I ran out, I saw a pair of birds flying across the street. I could not tell what they are till they suddenly ‘moved in’ and perched on a plum tree about 10 feet from me.

In Attack Position
In Attack Position

They are the same birds I saw in spring when they were pounding our vent cap on the roof to call their mates.  Again I saw one making its needlework on a birch tree at my walk. Its official name is ‘red-naped sapsucker’, a Northern American woodpecker.


Though there is good sunset light, I was not able to utilize it because they were moving around from tree to tree or hidden among the leaves. I was happy to snap the shot with both of them facing each other. But just when I was ready to quit, they both flew towards our crabapple tree and just stayed there.

Caught Red-Handed

When the birds were close to me, I was getting more anxious to snap a shot.  With many crabapples hanging and twigs in the way and their constant change of the anchor points, I fired many shots but only got a few decent images. They came for the crabapples. I expected that they would come back and enjoy the fruits, but they have not been back since.

I am so easily distracted by birds’ calls and movements. As long as I hear them, I have the urge to find out who they are and hope to take a few pictures.

red-headed woodpecker

While we were waiting outside of a real estate rental office in the Smoky Mountains, a small flock of birds was chirping on the same tree. I thought I was fast enough to get ready, but they were gone in a dash.  Unexpectedly, a larger bird flew from a distance and landed on the tree right in front of me! He was moving from one limb to the other, I barely caught this shot.

The unpredictability makes the bird photography fun and exciting.  They are all woodpeckers but living in different geographic habitat make them look different. I found that very interesting.

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