Run Ragged

The activity in woodpecker world has become frenetic.

A constant relay to and from the feeders.

They must have chicks.


Mr W feeding Wm


 Great Spotted Woodpecker (Male)


Woodrow has a distinctive red patch on the back of his head.

I’m relieved that the chicks are getting a varied diet. See the insect Woodrow has already caught sticking out of his beak?


 Mrs W feeding Wm


 Great Spotted Woodpecker (Female)


Mrs W has a black and white head, no red patch.

The mesh on the peanut feeder is quite fine. The birds can extract only small pieces of nut. A whole one could choke a young chick. Both parents have been feeding intensively on the fat balls too.


Woodrow will perch on the kitchen extension roof and chirp loudly if the way to the bird table is blocked.

It seems we are not allowed into the garden any more. Perhaps special dispensation just to top them up!


2017-11-13T20:39:11+00:00May 26th, 2013|Tags: |


  1. Jeneane May 26, 2013 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Oh this is fabulous. I’m enjoying D-scribes account of her nesting robins and here you have woodpeckers. I hope these birds are all still at it when I arrive in England next week !

    • Jessica May 26, 2013 at 9:40 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jeneane. I only hope we can be hospitable with the weather… or perhaps you could bring some decent stuff with you? Have a great trip!

  2. ournewlifeinthecountry May 26, 2013 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous photos of Mr and Mrs Woodpecker, at least they and not the squirrels are getting the nuts 🙂

    • Jessica May 26, 2013 at 9:41 pm - Reply

      Absolutely Sue!

  3. Vera May 26, 2013 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    Lovely photos. When we get round to it we are going to put bird feeders out. That should amuse the cat, so better hang them in a place she can’t get to them! Hope you are having a lovely holiday weekend.

    • Jessica May 26, 2013 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      Thanks Vera. The weather has been lovely.. outside all weekend! Surely that can’t be two bank holiday weekends in a row?

  4. haggiz May 26, 2013 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    Fab photos as usual. We have great tits, sparrows and blackbirds nesting in the garden this year, it was all going well until a sparrow flew into the window today. When I picked it up it didn’t look very well but after giving it some water, it came round and flew away! Phew, drama over! Julie x

    • Jessica May 26, 2013 at 9:54 pm - Reply

      Oh goodness, but they do seem quite resilient. Just as well! Hope you’re having a good weekend. The weather will last longest for you I think..

  5. countrysidetales May 26, 2013 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    Ah I have learnt something today Jessica thank you. we have a Woodrow (or Mrs W) in the garden too but I didn’t realise you could sex them by the red head. I will now be able to tell whether we have a girl and a boy. Ours won’t tolerate a human presence either. Such nervous birds, totally different from Mrs Sparrow who skims so close to me when flying I can virtually feel her feathers! Beautiful pictures.

    • Jessica May 26, 2013 at 10:00 pm - Reply

      You would think, armed with that fearsome beak, they’d have a bit more confidence..
      Great news.. I have found a long tailed tit nest in a berberis, They got very agitated when I inadvertently walked past it yesterday. A long way from the house though, so not sure I can count on babies at the feeders. Sadly.

  6. woolythymes May 26, 2013 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    Woodrow is gorgeous! I don’t have any woodpeckers visiting this year…..but I’ve never had a great spotted even on the years they haunt my feeders. beautiful… glad mom and dad are both keeping their babes happy.

    • Jessica May 26, 2013 at 10:03 pm - Reply

      Woodpeckers are a new thing for me, I’d never seen one until we moved here. They are really gorgeous birds.

  7. Em May 26, 2013 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    Aren’t they gorgeous? So pleased you have them too!

    • Jessica May 26, 2013 at 10:11 pm - Reply

      Thanks Em. A new behaviour from Woodrow the last couple of days – he flies down to the ground after the feeder and picks up the bits he has dropped (messy eater) before going back to the nest. Every last scrap counts when it comes to feeding the chicks.

  8. Denise May 26, 2013 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    A woodpecker was making itself heard in the woods beind our allotment this morning. Didn’t see it but definitely heard it. Wonderful sound – so echoey!

    Lovely pictures!

    • Jessica May 26, 2013 at 10:14 pm - Reply

      It’s an amazing sound. I thought someone had a hammer drill out in the woods when I first heard it..

  9. Wendy May 26, 2013 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    Terrific photos of the Woodpecker. I hope they nest successfully. We have birds protesting loudly here, too. We can’t go anywhere near the flight paths for the Blue Tit boxes or we get scolded.

    • Jessica May 26, 2013 at 10:16 pm - Reply

      I try not to disturb them, but sometimes it’s impossible!

  10. Rosie May 26, 2013 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    What beautiful birds the woodpeckers are. I’ve noticed the sparrows are getting through a fat ball everyday lately. Our wrens seem to be feeding young at the moment they are backwards and forwards to the next box quite often:)

    • Jessica May 26, 2013 at 10:22 pm - Reply

      It’s a wonderful time of year isn’t it? Even if expensive.. !

  11. CherryPie May 26, 2013 at 11:29 pm - Reply

    Great photos, they must be wonderful to see!

    • Jessica May 27, 2013 at 10:15 am - Reply

      Thanks Cherie. I never tire of watching them.

  12. BadPenny May 27, 2013 at 9:24 am - Reply

    How beautiful they are. My Mr W never returned so I’ll enjoy yours ( and my collared Doves )

    • Jessica May 27, 2013 at 10:20 am - Reply

      Still busily flying back and forth today.. I hope they bring a chick to see us!

  13. welshhillsagain May 27, 2013 at 10:00 am - Reply

    What great photos. We have them too but I never get near enough to produce anything as good as these. Our feeders are outside the kitchen window and they are nervous birds as you say. Even moving in the kitchen startles them away.

    • Jessica May 27, 2013 at 10:24 am - Reply

      Thanks Elizabeth. It’s the same here, the only way we can do it is with a tripod and a long cord to the camera. I then lurk in the shadows until a bird appears!

  14. Jacqueline May 27, 2013 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    My husband tops up the bird feeders everyday then, the next time you look, they are empty !!!! I think that we spend more on seed and fat balls for the birds than we do on food for ourselves { maybe a slight exaggeration !!}
    We have woodpeckers too but I don’t see them as often as the other birds ….. do they keep a low profile ?!!
    They are such pretty birds and your photographs are brilliant. XXXX

    • Jessica May 27, 2013 at 8:06 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jackie.
      Normally we wouldn’t see as much of them as the other birds. At the moment they obviously find us an easy source of food for the babies!

  15. Simone May 27, 2013 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Wonderful photos! I have never seen a woodpecker in the real. They must be a delight to watch.

    • Jessica May 27, 2013 at 8:08 pm - Reply

      And hear.. apart from the tree hammering, they have a very distinctive chirp, normally issuing from the highest point around.. in our case a very tall pine tree!

  16. snowbird May 27, 2013 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    How fantastic that you have woodpeckers, these pics are a real treat for me.

    We have a robin feeding chicks outside the kitchen door, I’m not allowed to sit out anymore, if I do I hear an endless stream of clicking from the irate robins sitting on the fence with live food in their beaks.xxxx

    • Jessica May 27, 2013 at 8:13 pm - Reply

      They have a way of making you feel REALLY guilty, don’t they?
      You should see Woodrow and the missus today.. we’ve had a lot of rain. Their lovely white chests are all brown and soggy from all the climbing in and out of the nest hole.. I hope the chicks fledge soon!

  17. finlaygrayJohn May 27, 2013 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    You really should publish a book….. Your photos are delightful

    • Jessica May 27, 2013 at 10:47 pm - Reply

      Thanks John! Not sure I can top the turkey over the shoulder though..

  18. frayed at the edge May 28, 2013 at 8:39 am - Reply

    Fingers crossed you get this comment!

    • Jessica May 28, 2013 at 9:59 am - Reply

      Welcome back Anne!

  19. Jo May 28, 2013 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    Fabulous photos. How wonderful to have woodpeckers in the garden, my mum and dad used to get them, and although I’ve heard them here, I’ve never seen one. There’s a lot of greenfinch activity in my garden at the moment, they’re back and forth to the feeders all the time.

    • Jessica May 28, 2013 at 5:35 pm - Reply

      It’s great to see all the birds so busy isn’t it. I’ve noticed them far more this year. Perhaps they too are having to cram a lot into a short Spring!

  20. Sarah May 28, 2013 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    Absolutely beautiful photos, I wish i had these visitors in my garden too.
    Sarah x

    • Jessica May 28, 2013 at 9:34 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sarah. It’s a first for me too.

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