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Woodpecker sighting

hello. During a particularly horrible, rainy, misty day at the end of June, i noticed a strange looking bird hanging off my bird feeder. I called my OH who looked through binoculars (his eyesight is terrible), said it looked like a woodpecker !! i said don't be silly, there aren't any of those here. anyway, we googled it and it was. it came to feed for a day or so, then disappeared as quickly as it arrived. Do they migrate ??



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 80,527
    edited September 2020
    There are more of them around than a lot of folk realise ... especially if there's some established deciduous woodland nearby ... was it a black and white one with a red nape?  If so it was probably a Greater Spotted woodpecker ... they're the ones who are most often seen on bird feeders ... they like fat balls and peanuts ... green woodpeckers are usually on the ground probing for ants ... and they're probably on your bird feeder quite often ... but usually before you're awake in the morning.  They don't migrate ... but they seem to come to gardens more often in the summer/autumn when they're teaching their youngsters how to fend for themselves. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Possibly. I think OH said it was a common woodpecker ?? i've never seen it before (even before I put the feeder up) or since !!! We also had a huge flock of starlings attacking the feeders for quite a few weeks (that have never been in this area before) and now they've gone as well
  • Black and white, large starling size, it's a greater spotted woodpecker. If it had a red hat, it's a juvenile. A red neck is a male, and no red is a female.

    It's very unlikely to be a lesser woodpecker, they're more rare especially in gardens, and they're tiny.

    A green woodpecker sounds like it's laughing when it calls, and as Dovefromabove says, they sit on your lawn looking for ants. They look like a mini dinosaur to me!
  • Thanks for that. Maybe it will come again later in the year but i won't hold my breath
  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,306
    We've had one visit our feeder nearly daily. Just about managed to save him from being eaten by a local cat when he hurt his wing a couple of months back. The poor thing...
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,306
    Here's a photo after the rescue mission 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 3,793
    Thanks @strelitzia32 . So these two on our feeder are a juvenile on the left and an adult male on the right.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 80,527
    Yes that’s it @BenCotto 😊 
    we get them in the back garden here early in the morning and green ones on the front lawn.  The rest of the day they’re in the oak woodland between here and the golf course.  

    We used to get both in the gardens around the office where I worked pre retiring. I put some feeders up and the adults would bring the youngsters
    everu morning for breakfast 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • ErgatesErgates Devon, east of ExeterPosts: 1,793
    Greater spotted woodpeckers are regular visitors to our bird feeders. They prefer the suet pellets to the sunflower seeds. We also have green woodpeckers on the lawn, eating ants. We hear the green woodpeckers a lot more than we see them, quite unmistakable ‘laugh’.
    Our favourites are the jays, which will come to our bedroom windowsill to collect cashew nuts.  We have heard them making noises like a cat, and also magpie-like alarm calls, presumably to deter the competition, ( woodpigeons and squirrels mainly)
  • @BenCotto that's a beautiful photo.
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