Posts Tagged ‘woodpecker’


August 8, 2016

Today I return to old friends with a couple of photos taken some three weeks ago.


Yes, it is one of our local green woodpeckers but as I see them they tend to be lawnpeckers. In the picture above the bird is taking a quick look around to ensure safety but he or she is soon back to the task at hand. For the pecker the task is finding soil creatures. I hope they are to take back to a nest to feed the youngsters. But at the same time he is doing a fine job of aerating my lawn with that powerful probing beak.


The head just pumps up and down – no wonder it is a tad blurred. In fact all the movements are rapid. The bird puts his head up and appears to be posing nicely but by the time you’ve pressed the shutter – already half pressed to get set as it were, the head is back down as it seeks its prey. It is actually a bit lucky to get the perfect head up shot but here I decided to show what the woodpecker does best.

Three cheers for the birds

January 14, 2016

Where I live there is a super abundance of bird life. As I write this the winter has, so far, been ultra-mild (and very wet). Presumably our expected flocks of fieldfare and redwing haven’t felt a need to venture this far south. They have been conspicuous by their absence. But others have been varied and numerous. Four varieties of tit have been common – blue, great, long tailed and coal. The coal tit was a bird I saw in my childhood and then it seemed to vanish. Seeing them again has brought real pleasure this year. They seem to make even the blue tit seem calm and sedate. They are so rapid in their movements. We get three finches regularly – chaffinch and gold and green varieties and then at a slightly larger size we get two kinds of woodpecker – the great spotted and the green. And here’s a green I snapped last month.


These beauties may be a common sight for us, but they still excite me. I love to see them, probing in our grassy areas for ants. They are such handsome, colourful birds.


The prehistoric bird

July 11, 2015

To be fair, this photograph was taken of a very 21st century bird as it made an appearance in my garden. This first showing was on 10th July. It is one of my old pals. It’s a green woodpecker. But this one is a 2015 bird, hatched this year. I had been expecting to see a youngster for a day or two. The parents had been out kicking up a great fuss and I wasn’t sure if they were calling youngsters or warning them. I’m fairly sure I actually saw five of the birds at once so I think there are three youngsters.

And the young birds do look prehistoric.


Unlike mum and dad, the youngster is a mass of freckles. Maybe that helps the prehistoric look.

One of the great things about the young birds is that they haven’t been taught to fear humans. This bird decided our back door step was just the place to be – less than 6 feet from me inside the house.


The adults never get that close and I suspect this brave fellow has now been given a stern telling off by his (or her) parents.

I do consider that we are so very fortunate to see sights like this Andy Murray v Roger Federer at Wimbledon just couldn’t compete with this little beauty.

At last – a bit of snow

February 2, 2015

Actually our snow was not at home. We were away at our son’s house which is in the Chilterns and rather higher above sea level than our home. We awoke to a white world albeit it was little more than a skittering of snow.

It was not enough to put off the greedy visitor to the peanut feeder.


When I was a child I was taught that squirrels more or less hibernated in the winter. Well that is clearly wrong. This one seemed quite well at home in the end of January snow.


The next day there was no sign of snow back home and one of our greedy friends was busy pecking for ants in the grass.


He’s more photogenic when he takes his security look around.


This is actually the 1st of February 2015 – one day later than the snow pictures. Oh, the good news is that we saw a pair of these birds so we can look forward to seeing young woodpeckers later in the year.


Recent local bird life

November 4, 2014

We were sitting having lunch towards the end of October when food took second place to the birds outside the window.

I had seen a flash of yellow outside the window and thought it just might be a grey wagtail. We rarely see them at home. I associate them much more with streams and wilder places. Our garden is on quick dry sand.

But then my wife announced a flock of mixed tits but added the one with the long tail was definitely not a tit. It was a most well behaved grey wagtail – actually one of two paying us a visit.

Why well behaved?  Because they gave me time to get up, go to another room, retrieve a camera and come back. And the little beauty was still posing.


One of the birds then found something fascinating on our garage roof.


Its friend performed the hokey cokey on the roof ridge.


We were still admiring the wagtail when another occasional visitor arrived.


This is a great spotted woodpecker and we see him (or her) from time to time. Once again he posed for ages on our bird table and then our nut feeder.

We feel amazingly lucky to get these visitors – and let’s never say British wildlife is dull. There are all sorts of vibrant colours to be seen. We may not have ‘big six’ wildlife but what we get plenty that is simply magnificent.


December 6, 2012

I’ve been looking up ‘nerd’ on the internet. It seems I may not really be one at all, but I’m quite prepared to be a ‘happy nerd’. It seems nerds should be interested in games like Dungeons and Dragons and utterly besotted with gizmos. I have no interest in trading cards, fantasy games, role play games or all that much in Sci Fi. These are said to be nerdy topics. In fact it seems that my broad width of interests renders me a non-nerd. I’m not obsessed with any one topic. I’m obsessed with dozens of them.

I was going to say that nerds aren’t interested in birds but I see a sub species exists – the bird nerd – a person keen to show their ability to identify all birds, seen or unseen. This shouldn’t be confused with a nerd bird which is, apparently, an aircraft flying between two Hi-tech locations.

I do have enough knowledge to identify most birds that come into my garden. Amongst my favourites are the green woodpeckers. It’s a rare day when I don’t see one for most days they come down onto the lawn and seek out ants with their long, strong bills. If they come close enough and the lighting is good I’ll try a photo. This one was on December 3rd 2012.


What a beauty. We can watch these birds through the season and they have now recovered from the hard, body wrecking task of raising the 2012 family. They look magnificent. Why, I wonder does a bird have such a striking mix of colours. It’s just gorgeous.


Now why would I want to be interested in role playing games when I can look out of the window and see that?