Category Archives: Nature Walk Reports

Flicker at the Guild Inn: September 21, 2020

This attractive grackle-sized woodpecker is seen more often on the ground than other woodpeckers.

Northern Flicker

Here they investigate ant hills looking for their preferred food, ants.

Northern Flickers (father and son)

The name comes from their habit of flicking leaves about looking for ants.

Northern Flickers (father and son)

In my lifetime, flickers have been called Common Flickers, Yellow-shafted Flickers

Northern Flicker (male)

and by their current name; Northern Flicker.

Northern Flicker (male)
Northern Flicker (male)
Northern Flicker (male)

Unlike Downy, Hairy, Pileated and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Flickers migrate south to the United States and beyond in the fall.

Flickers are common and widespread in wooded areas with openings such as forest edges and golf courses.

Northern Flicker (male)

Males have a dark “mustache”:

Northern Flicker (male)

Females do not:

Northern Flicker (female)

Other birds:

Downy Woodpecker (female)
Common Grackle
European Starling
American Crow
American Robin
American Robin (juvenile)
American Robin (juvenile)
American Robin (juvenile)
American Robin (juvenile)
American Robin (juvenile)

Species list: Canada goose, ring-billed gull, red-tailed hawk, mourning dove, downy woodpecker, northern flicker, blue jay, American crow, black-capped chickadee, white-breasted nuthatch, American robin, European starling, common grackle, northern cardinal, American goldfinch. (15 species)

Park views:

summertime bank swallow colony

Today’s group:

Some botany:

Virgin’s-bower (Clematis virginiana)
Common Burdock (Arctium minus)
Common Hawkweed (Hieracium vulgatum)
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)
Amethyst Aster (Symphyotrichum amethystinum)
Amethyst Aster (Symphyotrichum amethystinum)
Heath Aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides)
Arrow-leaved Aster (Symphyotrichum urophyllum)
Arrow-leaved Aster (Symphyotrichum urophyllum)
Calico Aster (Symphyotrichum lateriflorum)
Panicled Aster (Symphyotrichum lanceolatum)
New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)
Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)
Flat-topped Goldenrod (Euthamia graminifolia)
Zigzag Goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis)
Red-osier (Cornus sericea)
Greenbrier (Rosa rubiginosa)
Spotted Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)
Dog-strangling Vine (Vincetoxicum rossicum)
Hedge Parsley (Torilis japonica)
Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)
White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima)
Round-leaved Dogwood (Cornus foemina)
Choke Cherry (Prunus virginiana)
Pale-leaved Sunflower (Helianthus decapetalus)
Alternate-leaved Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)

NATURE POETRY

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
  Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
  With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; – Keats

Miles Hearn