Being in a portable hide and spending time with these Green Woodpeckers has been a thrill. Here’s the male with his distinctive red moustache:
The birds look particularly fantastic in late evening light. They are exceptionally wary and frequently fly to the back of the nest tree, aware of other photographers’ presence, dog walkers, and entire classrooms of children around me. I enjoy seeing them peeping around the trunk:
They have a distinctive yellow rump which is particularly visible in flight, or, as in this case, when they bend over. Green Woodpeckers find all this pecking wood business a bit of a struggle and this couple have made or re-used a hole which is ever so slightly too small for them. They look like I feel when trying on my summer clothes.
And here is a view of the female, her face peeping out of the nest hole shows her black moustache rather than a red one.
They are large, beautiful, secretive birds.
I think it has to be said that Green Woodpeckers simply aren’t very good at woodpeckering. Woodpeckers have special beaks for pecking nest holes in wood, yet Green Woodpeckers hardly peck holes at all. Woodpeckers have special zygodactylic feet so they can spend their lives clinging to trees, yet Green Woodpeckers spend their lives feeding on ants on the ground.
What a waste of their talents.
This one is regretting not making that nest hole just a little bit larger when it could have. It really is a tight squeeze.
I’m sure it would say that it was eating that last ant which did it, as I tuck into another Tunnocks’ Caramel Wafer with coffee, inside my hide.