This is not a subtle bird. When they are around you know it. Loud calls, even louder chopping wood. It’s the biggest woodpecker in North America.
However, where else would you look to find one than up a tree? Certainly not down by the swamp water.
I don’t stop and wait around when I hear woodpeckers, this area is too dense for a clear shot. If that red head wasn’t in the sun patch I never would have seen him.
He had dropped down for a quick drink. I assume he waited and watched for a while, not the safest place for him.
A good day to take the long way down to a rookery. I don’t get many low opportunities with Pileated woodpeckers.