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Even if I hadn’t heard the Green woodpecker yaffling as it flew from the paddock ahead of a dog and its walker passing through, I would have known the bird had recently been there. For, as I strolled along the boundary path, every patch of bare earth had punched into it the tell-tale holes of the woodpecker’s probing beak as it had searched beneath the ground for ants and other insects.

200213 green woodpecker signs (1)

And, always quite close to those scatterings of holes were the bird’s droppings, with their characteristic hook at one end – just like a stick of candy, someone once told me, though undoubtedly the taste would be rather different. If you look closely at my photos, you might just make out the carapaces from the bird’s feasting.