I was walking home from the bus this afternoon when I heard a, "tunk tunk tunk", coming from somewhere nearby. I looked over at the house I was passing, but no one seemed to be home. I heard the "tunk tunk tunk" again and it sounded vaguely like someone with a mallet thumping a wet log. I realized the "tunk"-ing was coming from overhead and looked up. Way up at the top of the telephone pole I was passing, I caught a darting movement. I looked closer and realized that it was a woodpecker!
I have seen pileated woodpeckers while hiking locally, but they were much bigger than the one I was looking at. I got my camera out and took some pictures. I was certainly glad to have the 16x (digital) zoom on my Canon because there wasn't any way that I was going to get any closer to the bird to properly identify it.
When I got home, I compared my photo with some online resources and figured out that I was most likely looking at a Northern Flicker, and likely a male of the red shafted sub-species.
Anyhow, I'm not a bird-watcher (serious or even occasional), but it was definitely fun trying to figure out what it was that I was looking at and discovering that there is a wealth of information on-line if you want to read through it all. When the kids are older, maybe we'll get into bird-watching.