The Waiting Game

Bird Feeder 1 Wm


Batteries. Check.

Attach the bird feeder to the large green dome and flick the switch to ‘on’. Check.

The feeder performs a bit of a twirl, to calibrate the device, there’s a pair of audible electronic peeps and it’s all set.. It’ll be triggered by anything weighing more than a pound.


Small birds alight, peck and depart with no drama. So far so good.

But what of our larger feathered friends? Twirl-A-Woodpecker would not do at all. Woodrow and the Missus would likely be distinctly sniffy at the prospect of being weighed. So.. we can only watch from the kitchen window, tense with bated breath.


Woodpecker 013 Wm




Expectation is building now as we settle down to wait.

And wait. Brew up a coffee and wait some more. Perhaps it is the drizzle that has been falling for most of the day. Depressing the temperature and sending them back under cover of the trees? Or are they just watching.. and waiting themselves?


Damn it.

Why is there never a squirrel around when you want one?


2017-11-11T18:14:49+00:00April 23rd, 2013|Tags: |


  1. snowbird April 23, 2013 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    Oh wow!!! What a beautiful bird! I’m green with jealousy!

    Lol….the squirrels are waiting for something else to fall foul of the spinner.xxxx

    • Jessica April 23, 2013 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      Let’s hope they were watching when the woodpecker came to no harm!

  2. Crafty Gardener April 23, 2013 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    Great little device for the feeder. So glad the woodpecker can feast safely. Hoping you catch some photos of the squirrel in action.

    • Jessica April 23, 2013 at 7:34 pm - Reply

      If it had sent the woodpecker a-twirling I would have had to abandon the experiment. He (and his mate) are lovely birds.

  3. haggiz April 23, 2013 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    What a great photo of the woodpecker … nearly as good as an action shot of a spinning squirrel! Julie x

    • Jessica April 23, 2013 at 7:36 pm - Reply

      Squirrel watch starts again tomorrow. The light is fading now..

  4. Countryside Tales April 23, 2013 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    Love the idea of twirl-a-woodpecker (although not if it really happened of course). I expect the squirrels will test it when you’re not looking, work out how to stay on and only then show themselves once they’ve mastered the art. Perhaps you should set up an infra-red camera to capture the training sessions?

    • Jessica April 23, 2013 at 8:01 pm - Reply

      They’ve probably already downloaded the circuit diagram from the internet and are studying it under the rhododendrons as I write..

  5. Annie @ knitsofacto April 23, 2013 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    I will be biting my nails to the quick as I wait to discover if you’ve won or if the squirrels have foiled you again! Personally having once seen a squirrel start to cross the road, turn 90 degrees to face oncoming traffic, run under the car that passed over it, from bonnet to boot, turn 90 degrees back, and finish crossing the road, I believe them to be capable of anything! Twirling is probably some kind of parlour game they play.

    • Jessica April 23, 2013 at 8:18 pm - Reply

      The squirrels do have a habit of foiling us. As yet I do not have a Plan B (or are we already at Plan D?).

  6. Denise April 23, 2013 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    On tenterhooks…’tis all I can say…

    • Jessica April 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm - Reply

      It is their absence that is the most worrying..

      • Denise April 23, 2013 at 9:33 pm - Reply

        You don’t suppose they know exactly what is going on and are at this minute constructing some kind of counterattack twirly machine? They’re cunning things, these squirrels…

        • Jessica April 23, 2013 at 9:56 pm - Reply

          If it takes three D batteries to twirl a pound, think how many they’ll need to twirl me..

  7. Justine April 23, 2013 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    Hope you’ve got Dead or Alive’s ‘You Spin Me Right Round’ ready to blast out while you perform a victory dance?!

    • Jessica April 23, 2013 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      Good plan!

  8. Wendy April 23, 2013 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    Lovely photograph of the woodpecker. I imagine those squirrels are making you wait.

    • Jessica April 23, 2013 at 9:42 pm - Reply

      Revenge will be sweet.

  9. Judith April 23, 2013 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    So funny! They know when you want them, these beasties.
    Lovely shot of the woodpecker. Ours are having a real hard time from the fighting Mistle thrush.

    • Jessica April 23, 2013 at 10:05 pm - Reply

      I’ve heard a lot of woodpecker squawking here too. I thought it was a rival pair, but may well be wrong.

  10. Natalie April 24, 2013 at 3:32 am - Reply

    That woodpecker is gorgeous!

    I can’t wait to see the squirrel event…

    • Jessica April 24, 2013 at 9:53 am - Reply

      He is gorgeous isn’t he. Both he and his mate are regular visitors to the bird table.

  11. Sharon April 24, 2013 at 5:25 am - Reply

    Too funny, my last post was the woodpecker/squirrel visits at the feeder. Love the photo of your woodpecker.

    • Jessica April 24, 2013 at 9:55 am - Reply

      Great minds! I’ll be over to read..

  12. Paula @ Spoons n Spades April 24, 2013 at 7:20 am - Reply

    I’m intrigued to see if this works. If it does, I’ll be popping it on my shopping list!

    • Jessica April 24, 2013 at 9:58 am - Reply

      They’ve demolished every other ‘squirrel proof’ feeder I’ve had, so I’m looking forward to the outcome too. Either way, it promises to be entertaining!

  13. Sue April 24, 2013 at 8:24 am - Reply

    The squirrels are most likely all in the committee room plotting and planning their mass attack. I can just envision it now ….. all round a table with plans of the ‘device’ spread out and potential methods of attack on the wall.

    They will be back ……..Tom Cruise/Mission Impossible style I guess, abseiling from above or building a ladder from below 🙂

    Love your woodpecker, we have a few just like him and their partners.

    • Jessica April 24, 2013 at 10:04 am - Reply

      You have to hand it to squirrels. They’ve now got to the stage where they don’t always run away if I catch them on the bird table, just sit there and eyeball me. You can see the intelligence in those eyes.

  14. Vera April 24, 2013 at 8:53 am - Reply

    Oh the suspense!!!!

    • Jessica April 24, 2013 at 10:05 am - Reply

      They are driving me mad Vera.

  15. BadPenny April 24, 2013 at 8:54 am - Reply

    It’s like waiting for a bus… I hope it works & you catch it in action !
    Gorgeous woodpecker – ours never came back after the one surprise visit.

    • Jessica April 24, 2013 at 10:07 am - Reply

      They may come back when they have young, especially the females on the look out for food.

  16. Pats. April 24, 2013 at 9:15 am - Reply

    I should get rechargeable batteries for the twirly, I can feel the squibs chuckling behind their paws knowing what lengths folk will go to to make their ‘mission impossible’. A friend of ours has one of those devices a foot across and it’s now Saturday Night Fever as they (the squirrels, that is) swing round on it. Actually it’s hysterically funny!!

    • Jessica April 24, 2013 at 10:11 am - Reply

      I have to confess, I bought Twirl-a-Squirrel as much for our entertainment as theirs!

  17. Rosie April 24, 2013 at 9:31 am - Reply

    Well, I’m glad Woodrow and spouse are safe from twirling experiences. The squirrels are out there somewhere pondering upon this new-fangled contraption. There were three on our lawn yesterday having a stand off, much running in circles and stamping of feet, I expect two males fighting over a female – could be the other way round of course:)

    • Jessica April 24, 2013 at 10:14 am - Reply

      It’s the pheasants that are fighting here at the moment. On several occasions now, Mike has had to weigh in with a broom. Water pistol works well too..!!

  18. Em April 24, 2013 at 10:05 am - Reply

    Baited breath Jess…….

    • Jessica April 24, 2013 at 10:15 am - Reply

      Indeed. Today is when they will try it.. when I have to go out.

  19. Anny April 24, 2013 at 10:15 am - Reply

    It’s only a matter of time before squirrels take over the earth. We might think we’re outwitting them, but seeing how they gang up to tease my dog, I believe they’re capable of world domination.

    • Jessica April 24, 2013 at 10:18 am - Reply

      Totally agree Anny. And if it’s not them it will be mice.

  20. steph April 24, 2013 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    I saw a video of one of these things in action once… was hysterical. My friend immediately bought one and I honestly can’t remember the outcome. All I know, is—it’s not in operation any longer. (maybe just the battery life wasn’t real long–or the squirrels figured out how to remove them!!)

    • Jessica April 24, 2013 at 4:33 pm - Reply

      Good point Steph. I’ll put some duct tape over the battery compartment!

  21. Jo April 24, 2013 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    Ha ha, that’s so typical, isn’t it? What a wonderful photo of the woodpecker, I’m glad he/she didn’t get twirled.

    • Jessica April 24, 2013 at 4:42 pm - Reply

      We had the camera set up on the tripod, with a remote control, waiting for the squirrels. The woodpecker kindly flew into shot!

  22. frayedattheedge April 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    Oh the joys of WiFi, I’m catching up with your twirly adventures from Majorca! Love the woodpecker, hope you get a dizzy squirrel soon!

    • Jessica April 24, 2013 at 4:43 pm - Reply

      Hi Anne! I hope you are also sitting in the sun, cocktail in hand. Do they have scones there? 😉
      Have a great time, both of you x

  23. Janet/Plantaliscious April 29, 2013 at 11:07 pm - Reply

    My breath is bated…

    • Jessica April 30, 2013 at 10:02 am - Reply

      They kept us waiting all right!

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