Thursday morning, I went to Chesebro Canyon Park at Agoura Hills to see (and photograph) for myself the Lewis' Woodpeckers (note the plural) that were seen there.
I immediately saw one right after I parked the Jeep. When I brought out my big gun (the 500mm) the woodpecker was, of course, gone. For more than an hour I waited for it to return. While patiently waiting for its reappearance, I was rewarded by the sight of a Golden Eagle being chased by a Raven half its size. When the eagle landed on a grassy knoll (too far even for my long lens), the Raven gave up the chase. As soon as the black bird was gone, the eagle ruffled its feathers and flew away.
With my target woodpecker still a no-show, I disassembled my gear, and replaced the lens with the lighter 100-400 zoom. I decided just to stay in the Jeep and listen to some music to soothe my disappointment all the while keeping an eye on the tree where I last saw the Lewis'.
Then it returned. Immediately, I jumped out of my vehicle and before I could even reach the tree where it landed, it flew off and alit on top of an electric pole a few hundred yards away. I took a "Hail Mary" shot and chased after the bird. No more have I gone a few feet nearer and it once again flew off. This happened maybe five times and not once did the skittish woodpecker allowed a clear, close enough shot.
Despite adding two more lifers, I thought it was a disgusting day - not being able to get any good photographs of both Golden Eagle and Lewis' Woodpecker. With bright, clear skies even.