There I was sun-dappled and slaving away outside on the laptop, the tracks of a CD of Spanish guitar music filling the space with sound from the two wireless outdoor¬† faux-rock speakers I’m so glad I bought last week. Two cats were napping opposite me in patio chairs and a drowsy Ranger dog snoozed at my feet.

Such can be my workday hell.

When I first heard the tapping behind me I figured it would be just one of those rascally squirrels gnawing on a walnut from the tree next door and so I ignored it. But the noise continued and  there was something too percussive about it to be a rodent.

So I got up and looked closer and sure enough it was a rate treat: a Nuttall’s woodpecker doing its very best to extract and eat whatever insectivorous nutrition might have been available from the branch to which it clung. It also did its very best to avoid any positions on the branches that might allow me to get a great shot of it. Of the 48,004 snapped this was the best and least obstructed of ’em (click for the bigger picture):