Winging it
Wednesday November 24th 2010, 12:08 am
Filed under: Food,Friends,Wildlife

I was at the bird center this afternoon stocking up on seed for the month.

Freddie, the owner, asked me, glancing at her computer, if I wanted a suet cake this time with that?

No, I was set, thanks–and then I told her my Nuttall’s, my woodpecker, had not been seen for a few weeks and I’d been missing it.

Yesterday, trying to entice it to come back, I’d replaced the broken bits of the old cake that were in the holder with a big solid new one that had been waiting for it, wondering, if I made it look prettier, set it a nice table up there, would that do it? Had the hawk gotten her? Had she migrated?

I checked it this morning and even though the chickadees like it and the finches will occasionally give it a peck when the feeders are both crowded, it was simply untouched.

No point in buying more yet, then, so, thanks, Freddie, hopefully next time.

And so it was that I was sitting here not long after I returned home, having run gobs of errands after that first one, finding that the grocery store was in total crazy mode, (well…yeah…) having company coming tonight rather than Thursday for dinner, getting home, getting the groceries put away, how to get it all in there and everything done, needing a moment to just finally sit down and crash for a moment, suddenly–

–who should fly in.  My goodness, that brilliant black and white outfit looks formal and perfect for celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday: there she was!

I simply watched, all else fallen away, not glancing away for a second, knowing how fast she can fly out of sight, all the more keenly aware for her absence of how blessed I am to have such moments.  Wow that’s a gorgeous bird.

She ate and ate and ate some more, diving into her food, more than I’ve ever seen her do in one visit. ‘Tis the season.

The Bewick’s wrens, meantime–I actually saw two at once–who never, never fly up to the cake but who come for the crumbs that fall from the woodpecker’s table, have been celebrating the extra crumbles I put out from yesterday’s taking-down; one showed up underneath the Nuttall’s for more, the perfect exclamation point in the flick of its tail.

Dinner to cook, still.  But those wild birds made the weight of it light as a feather.

Having one of the guests later exclaim, “OH! This is my FAVORITE!” topped it all off.

And a good meal was had by all.

6 Comments so far
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How nice an extra guest flew in!

Comment by LynnM 11.24.10 @ 1:20 am

I’m glad someone else is enthralled by the mere presence of a woodpecker. They’re great treats to the eyes, aren’t they?

Comment by Channon 11.24.10 @ 7:37 am

I am glad she, and the rest of your guests, had a good meal. I have mine, for tomorrow, done–but I only had to do part of it. LOL.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 11.24.10 @ 9:46 am

Well, you know the birds that I get to watch. Tomorrow Cliff and I are invited for dinner again, and we look forward to it.

Comment by Don Meyer 11.24.10 @ 9:51 am

Oh, I love your woodpecker story, Alison! I’m going out today to get a suet cake! I tried what they call “bark butter”, and it was a huge hit…with the squirrels. They peeled it right off the tree and made away with it. We have had extremely cold temperatues here in the Pacific NW (10 last night), but our little Anna’s hummingbirds are toughing it out. It breaks my heart to see them all fluffed up, shivering, on the clothes line. I keep changing out the almost frozen feeder for a fresh one, and they keep going after it. Hopefully we will get through this cold snap ok.

Comment by Janet 11.24.10 @ 2:52 pm

Few things tickle me as much as having someone tuck into what I’ve prepared for them with obvious relish. Just the image I have of you watching that woodpecker dig in – it is so much fun to give pleasure through food, whether man, beast…or bird!

Comment by twinsetellen 11.25.10 @ 10:25 pm

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