Dyeyo and I have been going to Circle B together for over a year now, and for that whole time Dyeyo has been on a quest to see Red-Headed Woodpeckers. But day after day goes by and Dyeyo still hasn’t seen his “Woody.”
So for Father’s Day, I asked Herman to recommend a place where I could take Dyeyo to find a Red-Headed Woodpecker. Herman recommended a place called Chinsegut (an old Eskimo name, pronounced Chin-SEE-gut. Try saying it three times fast!). The name means “the place where things of true value that have been lost may be found again.” Well, maybe the woodpeckers weren’t lost exactly, but we sure found them!
The nature center at Chinsegut is open only on Fridays and Saturdays. We found it to be a really cool little place. The best part was outside the center, where there’s a butterfly garden with a ton of bird feeders. There were a ton of birds, most of them with their young fledglings: Northern Cardinals, Tufted Titmice, Carolina Chickadees, Eastern Towhees, House Finches, Blue Jays, Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, and of course, the Red-Headed Woodpeckers. At one point, I said that I had heard a hummingbird. Imagine Dyeyo’s surprise when a few seconds later, a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird zoomed right in front of his face! The hummer later came back to nectar on the only red flower blooming in the garden.
I loved seeing the Carolina Chickadees. We don’t see them at Circle B or around my house. Usually I have to wait to our Callaway trips in order to see them. Their calls are so cute: “chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee!” They flew down to the feeders, grabbed a seed, and then flew back up into the tree to eat it. This little bird came down to pose right in front of me in order to drink from a mister. How convenient!
The Tufted Titmice were also active at the feeders. They are another bird that I don’t have an opportunity to photograph often. Our neighborhood just doesn’t have the big trees to support the common little birds.
Dyeyo was amazed at the number of cardinals all around Chinsegut. There were so many families! The little guys were the cutest. This one is starting to molt into his adult (male) plumage.
We hiked around the trails, disappointed to find that the pond had completely dried up. We found a few deer, a bunch of Great-Crested Flycatchers, several Eastern Bluebirds, and a small family of recently fledged Carolina Wrens. We heard a Northern Bobwhite but didn’t see it. There were Red-Headed Woodpeckers everywhere! It was a good morning. Happy Father’s Day!! :)
Want to learn more about nature photography at Chinsegut?
Check out my Chinsegut page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!