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For the next 4 weeks I'll be in France and Italy for the first time. I brought my big camera lens and I hope to photograph and post European birds. This is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of trip for me. I'm so excited that I'm healthy enough to go.

I found these mushrooms last Tuesday, but I forgot to post them. An employee at the Falls of the Ohio state park saw my binoculars and pointed me to a trail I've never seen before. These mushrooms look like decomposing apple slices.

Springtime flowers and buds. I heard that once more leaves come out the caterpillars will follow. Once there are caterpillars a lot more birds will migrate because they'll have food.

Due to the holiday the park was pretty empty today. I loved it.

What happens when my Mastodon server goes offline for a while? I had a power outage due to storms for about a day. Will I never see toots from that time, or will they eventually show up?

Saw this knob on a tree that appears to have a cheerful face on it.

I spent a lot of time outside this weekend. Hiked around various parks with an old friend. Here are some cool mushrooms we saw.

Female Red-bellied Woodpecker, Louisville, Kentucky 2021-05-01

You can actually see the red belly in this photo.

Downy Woodpecker, Louisville, Kentucky, 2021-05-01

Another photo of the same Downy Woodpecker. That beak is huge! Those tail spots, though...

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Downy Woodpecker, Louisville, Kentucky, 2021-05-01

Its beak is pretty large for a Downy, but the spots on the white tail feathers (more visible on other photos I took) rule out the possibility of it being a Hairy Woodpecker.

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Louisville, Kentucky 2021-05-01

I'm anxiously awaiting their return this spring.

This used to be my favorite spot in the park. You could stand here and see nothing man-made. Then last fall they decided to mow it all down and do a haunted house...

Male House Finch, Louisville, Kentucky, 2021-05-01

Males have the reddish-purple coloring on their heads and backs.

Male American Goldfinch, Louisville, Kentucky 2021-05-01

The males have the black forehead spot, and their yellow coloring is brighter than females.

Female Downy Woodpecker, Louisville, Kentucky, 2021-05-01

The two main ways I know to distinguish a Downy from a Hairy Woodpecker are:

1. Look for black spots on the outer white tail feathers. You can see these in the photo. Only Downy's have the spots. If spots are missing, it may be either species.

2. Look at the size of the bill. Imagine it rotating 180 degrees, and check if it would extend past the eye. If it would, then it's probably a Hairy Woodpecker.

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Personal instance for myself.