Our Local Green Woodpecker Family

We have had the builders in putting up an extension to the house since our last post about our resident female Green Woodpecker.  As a result of the building works, we haven’t been able to get into the garden as much as we would normally. We haven’t even been able to hear the ‘yaffling’ of our local female calling from the field at the end of the garden. That was until a few days ago. There was a lull in the rattling of cement mixers, roaring of concrete cutters and blaring popular music from the paint-covered radio. Emma and I heard some calls, and with that set off to the bottom of the garden.

I was eager to get some new snaps as I had just gathered my pennies and upgraded my camera body, and was intrigued to see if the quality of my images would be representative of this.

As you can see, the images are considerably sharper. But not only that, the bird is slightly different than the one we had previously encountered.

Take a look at the two images below. The photo on the left was one we took a few weeks ago. The one on the right is from a few days ago. As you can see, the bird we saw most recently was not our female from last time, this new bird was actually a male. Males can be distinguished from females in that they have a black-bordered red moustache, while females have a black moustache.

To our surprise, another bird hopped up on the fence and joined the male. This bird was a young green woodpecker and is most probably the offspring of the previously photographed female and the male now in our sights. Look how beautiful and speckley the youngster’s chest and face is, and how blue its iris is. (Their happens to be an additional character in the image below… See if you can spot the tiny photo-bomber.)

Picus viridis [EUROPEAN GREEN WOODPECKER] 29.06.2017 England, Kewstoke [10]

To top off the experience, we noticed another young bird in the field pecking away at desperate ants. First a female, then a male, and finally two of their young. If you look carefully at the images below you can already see one of the youngsters is developing his male black-bordered red moustache. It looks to us that the pair have had both a female and a male chick, and both seem to be doing well.

 

The male then hopped down from the fence and began making a loud call we had not heard before. He then regurgitated some food for the youngster.

 

Our photo opportunity was then cut short as they headed noisily into the sky and then to a tree somewhere in the distance. (One of the youngsters shed a little extra weight before taking to the skies.)

 

The culprit…our pesky family cat.

 

To read our blog post about our first encounter with Mother Woodpecker, click here:

Professor Yaffle Zoomology

 

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