Wednesday, 3 November 2010


A few days ago I noticed that the fat balls I'd hung up for the birds had large holes. I wondered what had made them until one morning I saw a female great spotted woodpecker hammering away. It's been back since and it now attacks the cage of peanuts with gusto.

I don't have a long enough lens on my camera to be able to take a photo of this smart black and white bird which is about 9" in length. I know it's a female because the bird doesn't have a red patch on the top of its head as the males do; both sexes have red patches underneath their tail.
This drawing comes from the AA Book of British Birds.

The magpie and this bird have 'pie' in their name to denote the black and white plumage. I don't get green woodpeckers in my garden as I don't have enough grass to interest them but can sometimes watch them probing in the lawn in my neighbour's garden. Many years ago a Scottish friend, who hadn't ever seen a green woodpecker, or even known of their existence, saw one in her garden and thought it was an escaped parrot - not a bad guess.


Bernard said...

I get Green Woodpeckers here on my lawn - after the ants it seems.
Now, an "Escaped Parrot".
Well. Do you get those green Parakeets in you area? They are all over the place here in Bourne End. They are always high up in the trees and I have never managed to get a photo.

Kath said...

Funny you should mention that Silve, we had a green woodpecker on one of our apple trees, also seen pecking our neighbours lawn, I expect ours is too long and rough.
To picp on what Uncle B asked, did you know there are parakeets at Coombe Hill, we never did find the time to get up there before I moved.

Sylve said...

No, Bernard, I've never seen a green parakeet round here - would be interesting, though.
Didn't know about Coombe Hill parakeets, Kath, no we never did take the dogs for a run up there before you moved...