I searched around until I found the source of the noise, which was now in its third iteration, and spied one of these guys....
... a Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) on a chimney two houses down from where I live. Basically, he would try to peck on the bricks, (which was met with varying degrees of success... mostly varying from unsuccessful downwards towards abysmal failure) and would then fluff up his plumage in absolute frustration and begin to squawk and screech in frustration. He would then move to another side of the chimney and try again with similar results. After sampling all four sides of the chimney, he flew to the chimney of the next house and began all over again.
Well... the bricks on this chimney were apparently no softer or any more satisfying than on the first house, because he was becoming absolutely furious (this is something to see... listen to me on this).
As for me... well, I was transfixed... I had never seen anything like this in my life. I basically stood there with my mouth hanging open, looking exceedingly dignified and attractive, I'm sure... and simply watched.
After clattering away on all four sides of the chimney in succession, off he flew to the next house, and so on down the block!
I have to say that I was amazed by this behavior... he bypassed at least 30 trees during the time that I watched him. I mean... what the f u u u c k is that??!!
Don't they teach woodpeckers to tell the difference between chimneys and trees in Woodpecker school or whatever?? I mean... it seems somewhat important to know what the hell a tree is if you are a woodpecker... at least it seems like a relatively important point to me!
I concede that a chimney is somewhat simlar to a tree... of course, most trees have a few sticky out bits and such... and I would think that one could tell right from the start that bricks feel somewhat different to one's beak than wood does.
If you happen to be a woodpecker, you need to know the difference. So, I have decided to lend a hand. Now pay attention.
Now this is the important part... This is a T-R-E-E. A TREE! (Remember!?!)
Trees put the WOOD in WOODpecker. Ever heard of a BRICKpecker??