This morning while the weather was good, I headed down the lake toward Addison to see what I could see. Near Ft. Cassin Rd., there were two male Pileated Woodpeckers working the same tree, one busily knocking woodchips all over his buddy's head. When it finally dawned on him this wasn't fun, he hitched a foot higher on the trunk and peered down at his wood-working friend, cocking his head from side to side. Has anyone ever seen two males together like this? I never have and wondered if they might be related, but I don't know anything about the Pileated's family structure. Moving on, I soon came upon a flock of birds gathering grit by the roadside. Among the Juncoes, Tree Sparrows, and Redpolls were a male and female Red-bellied Woodpecker. The male flew to a nearby tree and proceeded to flatter the female with loud, kwirrr kwirrr calls, but she, of course, played it cool from her distant perch and feigned indifference. Also nearby were two Downys, side by side, slowly touring a tree limb, and off in the distance I could hear a Hairy drumming. Signs of spring abound!
After touring Addison and scouting vast fields for signs of Cranes (no luck), just before reaching the Dead Creek pavillion I saw a large flock of birds landing in a tree top along the road. Quickly I pulled into the far end of the pull-off (not wanting to flush the birds), stopped and rolled down my window... to hear something singing I'd never heard before. Now distracted from the tree-top flock, quietly I got out, lifted my glasses and looked straight at a Horned Lark perched on top of a broken cornstalk no more than 20 feet away, singing his little heart out! I'd earlier seen 12 Horned Larks along Kellogg Rd, but here, this little songster was the only one around. He sang and sang and kinda turned his head as though to casually see if his efforts had attracted a lady Lark, but no such luck. While he serenaded, I turned back to the birds in the tree which turned out to be a massive flock of Snow Buntings. I'd never seen them in trees! Whenever a car went by, they'd take flight out over the field, circling back across the road and over me, then turn and land back in the tree-top again. I'm not very good at counting birds, but managed to get up to about 350; I'm sure there were many more. Not much later they all took off heading west toward the lake. The lonesome Lark was still singing when I went on my way. What a great day!