I’m sure I’ve written before on here that Green woodpeckers can be darn tricky to get good views of. They’re very skittish birds, taking fright and flying off at the slightest noise, yaffling as they go.
So, I was really thrilled at Lavernock Nature Reserve last Wednesday to get quite close to two of these beautiful birds. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I had seen the same bird in different parts of the reserve, as the sightings were an hour apart, or whether these were two different birds, but a close look at their facial markings has confirmed they are different – a real bonus!
I think the reason I did manage to get reasonably near both times is that these are juvenile Green woodpeckers (Picus viridis) – you can tell that from the black mottling in their plumage – so they haven’t yet learnt to fear all humans or, perhaps, their senses aren’t yet as acutely honed as their parents’.
These are both male birds – you can tell from the red feathers in the ‘moustache’ markings on either side of their beaks. And both were intent on feeding on ants from the many anthills that dot the wildflower meadows at Lavernock (as you can see in the very short video below). Perhaps that’s another reason why they were not so concerned about me.