Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Great Spotted Woodpecker.

During a late morning visit to my local patch I initially spent some time with the young ducklings and goslings around the pond (subjects for a future post) and as I entered the woodland edge I heard the distinctive, constant calls of begging Great Spotted Woodpeckers (Dendrocopus major)

It took a moment or two, due to the density of the verdant foliage, but here is the nest hole from which the sounds emanated. I know from experience that they are very wary at breeding time and because of the nest position it was difficult to find a location far enough away but close enough to get some reasonable images

The sexes are very similar but the male (above) sports a red patch at the back of its head. He was very vocal, constantly calling out that short, sharp 'kick .. kick' and often perched deeper in the wood beyond the nest hole.
 
Typically the adults slowly approach closer to the nest hole, more often perching out of view and then working their way around the tree constantly looking and listening out for possible predators.

 How they manage to call with a full beak of goodies for their youngsters beats me!

The female (below) was less obvious around the nest but this image illustrates the difference in the head pattern and the amount of food being consumed by her young ones.

Hopefully I'll find some time, weather permitting, to revisit them sometime next week.  FAB.

Linking to WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY.

29 comments:

  1. Lovely lovely images Frank.
    The last two are really beautiful......shows the colour so well.

    I saw the male broad bodied chaser today....didn't manage to get a picture though.
    Will try again tomorrow.

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  2. Goodness, he's a beauty! And so well photographed. I have never seen this bird in person, so I appreciate your photos so much.

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  3. Great photos Frank! What a gorgeous red underbelly.

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  4. What a treat to get to see this. I so appreciate how you explained it all to us. I adore the woodpeckers and these captures are so special. Their red is brilliant. What a marvel of Nature.

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  5. As kids we were always told "Never speak with food in your mouth". Now here's those adult peckers setting a very bad example. Nice work in getting the birds to accept you Frank.

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  6. I really hope to get to see the chicks soon. From Findlay

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  7. Well spotted (sorry!) and photographed Frank. I hope all their hard work is successful....[;o)

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  8. Fabulous shots of the gorgeous woodpecker. It's always a joy to see them.

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  9. That was really nice to see the woodpeckers! I haven't seen them so often.
    The last photo was marvelous!
    I shall see if I find your grebes.
    Greetings Pia

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  10. It's a beautiful bird.
    I have it here too.
    Have a nive evening.
    Karin

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  11. Very nice captures indeed Frank.

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  12. What a beauty!!! You got some great shots!! Thanks for sharing!

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  13. Wow...just plain wow!!
    Love 'em all, but that close-up is outstanding.

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  14. What a gorgeous woodpecker! Hope the family is happy and live a wonderful life.

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  15. Great shots!When we visited the U.K. that was one of our goals to see...never did see it. I guess we'll have to come back!

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  16. Colourful and pretty birds, really nice photos.

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  17. What a beautiful Woodpecker! Superb shots, Frank!

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  18. Beautiful birds and great photos. I like the way you moved from the more distant photos to a very close photo as you described the birds careful approach to the nest hole.

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  19. Great birds - I hope to show some to my kids later this year.

    cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  20. WOW Frank, what a gorgeous Woodpecker, the red is so red and it is stunning to see in your awesome image shares!

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  21. All wonderful shots however that last shots is stunning.

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  22. lovely images. It is a common bird in my area but I have never been able to see young ones. But they are heard for sure. :)

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  23. What a wonderful woodpecker! And fabulous photos! You can see the grubs eyes its so detailed!

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  24. Hi Frank... They are beauties , the red under is really bright!!
    Nice photo's especially that beak full of worms ! : }


    Grace

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  25. Thanks very much for all your visits and comments ... as always much appreciated.

    I stopped by the Woodies nest hole again this morning but with a heavy overcast sky (the rain came later!) the activity wasn't as obvious as yesterday. I did however see a young head accepting food so all is still well. I'll try again next week for another installment.

    Cheers ... FAB.

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  26. Coming over via the link in your latest post.
    Wow Frank, these are lovely shots and your observations are so interesting to read. I do love that last photo - coming home with dinner :D)

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I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.

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