The definite high of the week was being able to return to the nesting Great Spotted Woodpeckers. A bit of sneaky parking reduced the walking distance to around 150 metres. The nest site was such that I was able to set up my gear (including handy camping seat) out of sight of the Woodpeckers and watch/film them without causing any intrusion or disturbance. I couldn’t manage more than about an hour but even in that time the parents were bringing food to the intensely demanding young almost every 10-15 minutes.
|Pa (left), Ma (right)
The nestlings never shut up (evidenced in the video!)….which is how I found their home in the first place. Squeak, squeak, squawk, squawk, rising above the sound of nearby traffic. I wish I was as adept at finding interesting caterpillars as ma and pa woodpecker, and I did note that the female was ringed although couldn't read the code, unfortunately. The light was extremely awkward (harshly backlit) but, quite honestly, I would have been happy with any record of this wholly absorbing scene. I was transported into their world of vitality and bonding and the striving for life. I loved how the young were cradled safely within the limb of a mature, ostensibly healthy Oak: the tree providing complete shade, protection and rooted solidity; the woodland around them their larder.
[The video is best viewed in 4K: press play then click on the cog, bottom right, and select 2160p4K quality. In the last scene, it's the female that exits from the nest hole, taking out the rubbish]