Good Morning, Woody

One of our trees has a series of woodpecker holes in the trunk. I was hoping one might be occupied this Spring and sure enough a pair of Green Woodpeckers appear to have selected our tree for their nest. First to arrive yesterday was Mr. GW. He started by inspecting the cavity. Then he embarked on a Spring clean. Bits of debris fell to earth. After a while Mrs. GW dropped by and, as wives often do, she watched and gave encouragement. Get a move on, Woody! She didn’t stay long as she was off to a social engagement – Lady Woodpeckers who lunch.

I tried to take a few photos through the orangery window with my superzoom . They were distinctly awful. I did go outside but Woody did not like that at all and fled the scene of the DIY.

My early start this morning was ostensibly to check the moth trap. It was 0c overnight so it came as no great surprise that the total yield was 5 Hebrew Characters, all rather tatty. Nevertheless the sun was up and as I admired the garden from the chill of the house Woody returned, bright and early. Appropriately enough he appeared to freeze. 18” above the hole he gripped the trunk and for 10 minutes barely moved his torso. A few tilts off the head was all I saw. Then he dropped down beside the hole and stayed in a similar mode for another 10 minutes. Seemingly satisfied that all was safe and well, work recommenced. Woody seemed to be tapping away at an extension, perhaps fearing that Mrs. GW might have added a few ounces over the Winter. All those lunches, perhaps. After lengthy tapping the clear out started and the debris was once again floating gently to terra firma. Mrs. GW arrived, added more encouragement and headed off to a well-earned breakfast. Woody was hard at it most of the morning and this time I did get one long distance photo. Never mind the quality, admire the pecker. Green Woodpecker-2

And so if all goes well we shall be following the ups and downs of woodpecker family life. I guessed this would happen so let’s call it The Foresight Saga.

15 thoughts on “Good Morning, Woody

  1. It is good to see your new work in the British countryside.
    Your patience was duly rewarded with the GW shot.
    The earlier woodland glade scene was very powerful especially the monochrome.

    • Thank you Geoff. The house is proving a major headache but the garden is a joy. Everywhere around us is green. I have started to identify the plants but many of the shrubs are a mystery. I showed a photo of a rhododendron to the local nursery owner and he said he could narrow it down to one of 4,500 species! I am so frustrated without my camera gear but we are camped in one room with work going on all around us. If the woodpeckers return next year I shall have much better photos. At the end of each day I walk down the garden and see what if anything has appeared in the copse. It is exciting to have such a large space after the small garden in HK. I now understand how powerful the attraction of light can be. There is a quality here that I had forgotten. And I am starting to explore new areas like the caddisflies. Nothing ‘rare’ yet but new to me and each new species identified is a minor triumph. We can start to think about getting out and about soon and we may well explore darkest Wiltshire. I hope all is well.

  2. Thank heaven Woody stuck to the tree–we’ve had one decide to punch holes in the soffit boards of our house. Huge PITA, but it did motivate us to get the exterminator to kill the bugs, etc., that our Woody wanted. Once Sprayman was done, our Woody disappeared to find another tasty site.

  3. I think Mr Pecker looked very contemplative but also satisfied after the big clean-up. He is ready now for any eventuality including lenses being focussed on him and his missus. There might well be the tapping of little feet soon when the family really gets going. I am sure you will be ready, Andrew. A great photo!

  4. I’m so happy that you’ve got some fun neighbors! Green. .. very interesting. Mine are all white and black, men get the red hats. BTW no worries about tree, they like picking healthy ones to nest in, as they like the sap. 😉

  5. I enjoyed seeing a new species of woodpecker. I think he’s a handsome fellow. And, I hope that all goes well with his mate so that you’ll have little Woodies to photograph.

    I’m hoping for you that your containers arrive with your camera equipment soon. It won’t be long before eggs will be hatching if nothing goes amiss with the nesting site.

  6. What a handsome chap! It must be exciting seeing all the flora and fauna at your new abode.

    It’s Hoopoe time here but I’ve had no joy at being able to photograph them – they are so quick! That said, there was a squashed one on the road the other day – it did cross my mind to photograph it but then I thought better. I think the closed eyes and rather mangled appearance might have been a give-away 😦

  7. It’s nice to know that you have a very skilled craftsman on the job, Andrew. Mr. GW obviously likes to give his work the contemplation that a fine structure deserves and I am sure that the missus will be quite appreciative leading to a fine family for you to observe.

  8. We see plenty of green woodpeckers around our way, particularly on the common but I’ve only ever seen them swooping low over the ground, not up a tree. A Great Spotted visits our garden regularly while the bird feeders are up. They’ll be coming down soon – only use them in the winter.

  9. I’m very excited about the serial story to come. I’m so sorry it’s hard work on the house front. I fear patience is the name of that game, just keep walking into the garden.

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