Red-naped Sapsucker at Refugio

Joan E. Lentz <jelentz@...>

Hi all! This a.m. Karen & I birded Refugio & El Capitan State Beaches. At
El Capitan it was quite birdy, espec. around the campsites & the
amphitheater, but we could not find anything of note. Lots of
Yellow-rumped Warblers & one Yellow Warbler (!) at the mouth of the creek
on the Nature Trail.
At Refugio, on the west side of the little creek that runs through the
campground in the willows right near the stone bridge a Red-naped Sapsucker
gave us a good lesson in Red-naped vs. Yellow-bellied once again! This
bird has a very reduced red patch on the nape, just a few red feathers in
the whitish nape stripe. The whole back of the nape had a brownish cast as
well, leading us to wonder whether this was a young bird.
Otherwise, it seemed a fairly straightforward male Red-naped. We noticed
that there was no complete black border around the vivid red throat (a
Yellow-bellied WOULD have this complete black border). The crown patch was
a nice red.
At first, we were confused, knowing that Yellow-bellieds can sometimes
have a little smudge of red on the nape, wondering if it was a hybrid of
some sort, etc.
If anyone would like to go & see this bird & give us your thoughts, it
would be great! Joan