Tag Archives: Great Spotted Woodpecker

Summer Birds

We are having a storm here but it is quite a nice storm with strong warm winds. Warm makes all the difference. ย It has been blowing all night and so I found myself sitting outside at four o’clock this morning enjoying the wind buffeting the trees.

I am kicking off with birds today and perhaps the weather will brighten up in a bit. I have seen some beautiful birds this year.

RobinUnlike the butterflies I don’t have to say goodbye to the birds. A couple of lightweights have gone south, fair enough but winter is a wonderful time for watching birds.

Here are a few birds that have featured here this summer.

The Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Sizewise it is about as “great” as a starling. Quite a small bird but it has wonderful presence. The female turned up about a month before the male and made herself at home.

Great Spotted WoodpeckerShe was on the feeder every time that I looked out of the window.

Great Spotted WoodpeckerEventually the male started visiting us too.

Great Spotted WoodpeckerGreat Spotted Woodpeckers don’t really eat peanuts. As a species they are totally dependant on dead wood habitat and the insects that live therein.

The juveniles visited us for a few weeks but their arrival signalled the end of the visits. They have been missing from the garden for the last couple of months.

Great Spotted WoodpeckerMeanwhile… out on the waters edge…

Mandarin Duck

Mandarin DuckMandarin ducks nest high in trees often in old woodpecker holes. Once hatched the chicks have to leap out of the nest and plummet thirty or forty feet to the ground because they are ducks not woodpeckers. They are very light and survive the fall. It is a spectacle that I would really like to video.

Mandarin DuckMeanwhile out on the farm….

Red Legged PartridgeThis is a Red Legged Partridge, an introduced species. Introduced for the shooting they are quite common here. My bedroom overlooks fields and I can actually lie in bed and watch these birds through my window but I still have to get out of bed to get decent pictures. No situation is perfect ๐Ÿ™‚

Red Legged Partridge

Red Legged PartridgeGoldfinches played a major role in our summer. My new landlord’s favourite bird, he had never had them in the garden. They love sunflower hearts and I filled the garden with them.

Goldfinch

Goldfinch

GoldfinchThis is a juvenile Goldfinch.

GoldfinchGoldfinches were not the only birds breeding here. The one that got the most blog space was the Barn Swallow. There are lots of swallow nestling videos on this blog but for me the best bit was when they first arrived.

They are supposed to mate for life. Some of the birds are just finding their mate. Some of them are ย reuniting. They fuss over each other so much. It is lovely to watch.

Barn SwallowIt would do no good telling me that birds are not capable of emotions. They greet each other with all the excitement of a puppy meeting it’s owner. I have also seen them mourn when they have lost a brood. These are very emotional birds.

Barn Swallow

Barn SwallowThroughout the summer we had all manner of new arrivals, too many to show them all here.

BlackbirdBlackbirds raised a brood in a tractor.

BlackbirdDespite a very wet start to the year the Blue Tits were also very successful.

Blue TitBlue Tits have a large brood and all of that feeding can leave mum feeling a little bit frazzled.

Blue Tit(This bird is actually just moulting, perfectly healthy and happy, or it might be a Zombie Blue Tit, they do happen, I think ๐Ÿ™‚ )

The bird that had the greatest success was the House Sparrow. They can have several broods in a year and our birds had a constant supply of food this summer, they made the most of it.

House Sparrow

Blue TitThere are dozens of them and they have been moving around the farm in small flocks. So much so that I was beginning to worry that I was upsetting the balance of nature… Until today that is…

Blue TitI filled the feeders up three days ago and they haven’t been touched, something is wrong.

SparrowhawkThis Sparrowhawk has visited the garden a couple of times this year. He hasn’t stayed very long and hasn’t caused any big problems. It is nice to see him.

I saw him or another just like him this morning. Now he is in his full adult plumage and looks quite beautiful. (no photos yet)

SparrowhawkTo have had any impact on my Sparrow hordes he must have taken up residence or more likely his presence is just keeping the birds away from the feeders. Today I am on Sparrowhawk watch.

Sparrowhawkand looking forward to a great winter of wonderful birds.

Her Red Pantaloons

She has got babies but she wont show me.

Female Great Spotted WoodpeckerAll she wants to do is kick up her legs and show me her lingerie.

Female Great Spotted WoodpeckerStupid Bird! We all know what colour knickers you’ve got on.

Please, please, please bring your babies to my camera.

Female Great Spotted Woodpecker Female Great Spotted Woodpecker Female Great Spotted Woodpecker Female Great Spotted Woodpecker

Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker Juvenile Great Spotted WoodpeckerThank you doesn’t seem like a big enough word. What took you so long?

Feeding Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker Feeding Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker Feeding Juvenile Great Spotted WoodpeckerNow I am happy. There will be much more of this to come.

Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker Juvenile Great Spotted WoodpeckerNow I have just got to add in some pictures of the male bird to make up the set and we will be done.

Male Great Spotted WoodpeckerYou will notice that he um… He likes to wear his wife’s underwear but he is a bird, let’s not be judgemental.

Male Great Spotted Woodpecker Male Great Spotted Woodpecker Male Great Spotted Woodpecker Male Great Spotted WoodpeckerThese have got to be the most photogenic birds in the garden.

Mystery Bird

I woke up this morning and there was a new bird on the feeder, one I haven’t seen before. It looked hungry.

“Where’s my worms?”

Robin Fledgling

Robin FledglingWe know what it is really, don’t we Darling?

RobinWe should do, it has cost enough money buying meal worms for mum and dad.

Unfortunately the light isn’t good enough this morning for photography purposes but it is good enough to show you what’s going on.

LightBirds are what’s going on, hundreds of them while I wait for another chance at the Robin.

Blue Tit Fledgling

Blue Tit Fledgeling

This one won’t bring her babies.ย Female Great Spotted Woodppecker

Female Great Spotted Woodppecker

Female Great Spotted Woodppecker

There he is! Quick , focus!Robin FledglingDamn, there is just not enough light. It’s a Robin but it is not a sharp one.

Oh look a fledged Chaffinch.

Chaffinch Fledgling

Chaffinch FledglingIt is all happening and the sky is just getting darker and darker.

Does anybody know what a Goldfinch fledgling looks like? We ought to have them here.

Goldfinch

Chaffinch

Female House SparrowWho ate all the worms?

BlackbirdYes actually, you are annoying me a bit. Do you have to gather every single one?

BlackbirdFizz! Fetch me my Blackbird gun. What do you mean, we’ve run out of bullets?

I am going to take Fizz to the fields and play ball with her for an hour or two. When I get back it would be nice if the sunshine and the birds would play ball with me.

You are not annoying me, you take what you need.

House SparrowsI like the little brown ones.

Robin Fledgling

My Juvenile Obsession

I am sorry about the quality of these pictures, they were taken around 5:30 this morning and the light was pretty poor.

Juvenile Woodpecker

Juvenile Woodpecker

Juvenile Woodpecker

Juvenile WoodpeckerSo at 5:30 this morning Mum brought two juveniles to the feeder. By six o’clock I had my coffee and the camera was set up to catch the action on video….

They didn’t come back and I gave up at nine this evening.

This video is the best that I got today. It is just the female but from the way she is taking food away I think that she must have had a young one nearby.


I ended up watching the lambs in the orchard.


A fruitless day but she is going to bring her young to the feeder and when she does I am going to photograph and film it and then I will be able to get on with other stuff.

Stakeout

I was up early this morning just to watch the back garden. Yesterday I had seen a rabbit in the garden and they are pretty sedentary so I figured they must be regular visitors that I had just missed.

I didn’t see any Rabbits but I did see a Fox. Too quick for me to photograph but just before I took this picture he crossed this orchard.

05.14That was taken at 05:14 and the light was still very poor for taking pictures. What was cool was the way that the sheep didn’t pay any attention to the Fox, if it had been a Dog they would have been very nervous so they obviously know the difference.

As the morning progresses I keep taking pictures, just to see what sort of quality I am getting and whether there is enough light yet.

05:19 and it looks like it is not just the Blue Tits who are having a spring moult.

05.1905:23 Two days ago I was convinced that I had seen a Bullfinch in the garden. I only caught a fleeting glimpse of it and knew what it was straight away, I reached for my camera and as I turned back it had gone. I watched the garden for three hours then but nothing. I had to accept that it was almost certainly a Chaffinch that I had seen they can look very similar when you see them head on.

Pity, I can’t remember the last time that I saw a Bullfinch.

05.2305:25 and I am just checking. No light yet but it is good to watch the birds getting their breakfast.

05.25At 05:42 sunshine is creeping toward the orchard. We have a clear blue sky and it looks like it is going to be a lovely day.

05.4206:32 No sunshine in the garden yet but the light is getting better just when I might need it.

06.3206:33 It had been a fruitless morning, there was nothing that I couldn’t have photographed better in the daylight and I was just wondering if it was too late to crawl back into bed for an hour and then…..

Oh good, good, good. This bird wouldn’t play ball with me and pose for a picture but what I did get was good enough to leave me in no doubt to species. This is not a Chaffinch.

06.33.15 06.33.16 06.33.17 06.33.24 06.33.28 06.33.34 06.33.36 06.33.37

That is a male Bullfinch breakfasting on Common Groundsel and he has been here for at least two days, I am sure now. There is almost certainly a less obvious female close by. I do hope they are nesters.

Any pictures that I didn’t get today I will get tomorrow. What a beautiful bird.

Tuppence

Feeding the birds provides me with a lot of entertainment and interest and I think that it is very good value for what it costs.

I won’t be long.

Hungry BirdsIt seems like a funny time of year to be moulting.

Moulting Blue TitMy coconut went down well and now I am improvising another one.

Coconut CoconutOkay. Dinners ready!

Great TitGreat Spotted WoodpeckerRobinHouse SparrowPied WagtailRobinChaffinchGoldfinchGreat TitBlackbirdBlue TitCollared DoveGreat Spotted Woodpecker

A Flock Of Woodpeckers

Animals aren’t the boss of me. This is a new one.

A male bird.

Male Woodpecker Male Woodpecker Male Woodpecker Male Woodpecker Male Woodpecker Male Woodpecker Male Woodpecker Male WoodpeckerBut he is not the whole story. I was watching our female bird yesterday, this is she…

Female Woodpecker Female Woodpecker Female Woodpecker Female WoodpeckerA second bird landed on the feeder above her.

Female WoodpeckerThis is another female and note that the black outer stripe doesn’t go all the way to her cap, that is how we are going to tell our females apart.

Female Woodpecker Female Woodpecker Female WoodpeckerA new pair of birds are muscling in on our female’s bounty. These new birds are a mature pair they are not fledgelings (they have a red cap).

That was yesterday and the birds are still here today. In fact since first light (4:30) the male has been dominating the feeder, he owns it now.

If either of our females have young we are going to be in for a woodpecker storm. I think that both of them have young and it is the bad weather that is driving them to the nuts but we shall see.

Moulin Rouge in my Garden

Female Great Spotted Woodpecker:

Just call me Shorty.

Female Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerQuite a few pictures I’m afraid but…

When a beautiful lady in exotic lingerie puts herself in front of my eyes I am going to look and I need to look at everything.

The way her shoulder hangs, the nape of her neck, everything.

You can can look at her pretty red underpants if that is what tickles your fancy. She won’t mind.

Click on any picture to enlarge it and let your eyes linger.

Ha Ha! Excuse me, from the hundreds of photographs that I took I narrowed it down to just seventy and now I am just trying to see which ones I can live without…

Nope, I need that one, need that one……

This might be quite a long post.

Female Great Spotted Woodpecker Female Great Spotted Woodpecker Female Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFemale Great Spotted WoodpeckerFinished and that was only thirty six pictures, I threw loads away.

She is in the garden again this morning and I have already taken more than a hundred pictures of her. I know, throw them away, don’t even look at them.

We don’t want this to become the Woody Woodpecker Show.

She is just so lovely that I find her very hard to resist.

Anyway, jobs to do. We can have woodpeckers again when the male comes to visit.

Later beautiful bird.

Female Great Spotted Woodpecker