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.