Oh Well Done Woodrow..

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Great Spotted Woodpecker and chick


..Mrs W too, of course.

They’ve been working so hard over the last couple of weeks, the never ending relay to and from the bird table, collecting food for their chicks. Mike’s bonfires have been banned. Ever since the wind blew the smoke down the valley and too close to the nest hole. And it’s cost us a fortune in fat balls and nuts.


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But this week we’ve had the reward. There are at least two chicks, one has a slightly more prominent red cap than the other.


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Woodpeckers are nervous birds at the best of times. With chicks they are very wary indeed.

There is quite a bit of movement and the light over the past couple of days has not been great, so apologies if one or two of the images are a little blurred.


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But they are such fun to watch, childlike and skittish, darting around between the branches.. getting in a spot of practice with that awesome beak.

We may have a few more holes in the trees than we did.


2017-11-17T18:11:28+00:00June 20th, 2013|Tags: |


  1. Vera June 20, 2013 at 2:09 pm - Reply


    • Jessica June 20, 2013 at 7:04 pm - Reply

      The babies are very fluffy!

  2. Em June 20, 2013 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    Oh you lucky thing! I do hope ours bring their offspring to the food, but I have my doubts. So lovely to see your pics – they’re fantastic. You think they’re blurry? You should see mine from today in the fog….embarrassing.

    • Jessica June 20, 2013 at 7:06 pm - Reply

      Fog gives you an excuse!

  3. snowbird June 20, 2013 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    Oh WOW!!!! What a treat to get to watch such fantastic birds with their chicks…..I’m really jealous!

    Awesome pics!xxxx

    • Jessica June 20, 2013 at 7:08 pm - Reply

      The birds are gorgeous.
      Mike took most of the pictures, credit where credit is due!

  4. Linda June 20, 2013 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    How fortunate to be able to watch and photograph neighbourhood woodpeckers and offspring!

    • Jessica June 20, 2013 at 7:10 pm - Reply

      There’s more than one pair, they must find conditions right for them in the woods.

  5. Cumbrian June 20, 2013 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    First time I’ve seen a woodpecker that close, as you rightly say they’re very nervous birds.

    • Jessica June 20, 2013 at 7:15 pm - Reply

      It’s odd that they are so nervous, in possession of such a beak. I wouldn’t care to have a woodpecker hammering on my skull should it have a mind to!

  6. Denise June 20, 2013 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    Lovely, lovely, lovely…I am sitting here, misting over and having a bit of a Bagpuss moment!

    • Jessica June 20, 2013 at 7:16 pm - Reply

      It is quite humbling seeing the babies, especially knowing how much work the parents have put into raising them.

  7. countrysidetales June 20, 2013 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    Oh now I am jealous jealous jealous. Fantastic!

    • Jessica June 20, 2013 at 7:20 pm - Reply

      I hoped you would like this… it’s taken a bit of patience, sitting by the kitchen window, we took turns but it was Mike who struck lucky.

  8. Jill Chandler June 20, 2013 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    Lovely. I had to smile the other day as we had a mixture of house and tree sparrows and assorted chicks. It didnt matter which type had their beak gaping food was shoved in by any adult bird around. Apparently the RSPB want to know about cross breed feeding…..

    • Jessica June 20, 2013 at 7:25 pm - Reply

      They look so similar… perhaps even more so when all you can see is a gaping beak! You are lucky to have both, round here I see very few.

  9. frayed at the edge June 20, 2013 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    Fabulous! I am having a severe case of envy……..

    • Jessica June 20, 2013 at 7:31 pm - Reply

      Once they fledge the male seems to take over responsibility for the chicks, the female seems to be having a holiday.. I noticed the same thing last year.

  10. Simone June 20, 2013 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    That’s a lovely sight! Great photos too!

    • Jessica June 20, 2013 at 7:34 pm - Reply

      Thanks Simone. In the end Mike took the photos freehand (no tripod) because the birds were darting about so much. Considering how bad the light was, we were quite pleased with the results.

  11. Rambler June 20, 2013 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    Wonderful photos! I am seriously jealous as I rarely see a woodpecker of any sort, despite my neighbour reporting them coming to her bird tables. Never seen a woodpecker chick – ever.
    Your photos are Fab-U-Lous!!!!

    • Jessica June 20, 2013 at 7:47 pm - Reply

      Thanks Rambler! They can be very difficult to spot. If they see you first they will scoot round to the other side of a tree trunk and hide! But they do love suet or fat balls, in a hanging feeder. If the fat balls come in a net bag, remove this first though. Birds can get their feet tangled up in it.

  12. Abby June 20, 2013 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    Superb photos – aren’t they handsome. Lovely! Thanks for sharing. x

    • Jessica June 20, 2013 at 7:50 pm - Reply

      They are beautiful birds. Not always the most friendly, attacking smaller birds’ nests, but that’s nature I suppose!

  13. Wendy June 20, 2013 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    Terrific pics of the Woodpeckers. It’s wonderful to see the fledglings – a success story after all that hard work by the parents.

    • Jessica June 20, 2013 at 9:38 pm - Reply

      Thanks Wendy. I was really looking forward to seeing them.

  14. 1secondhandrose June 20, 2013 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    What wonderful photos Wendy. Nature repays us in spades in return for a little help, and you’ve certainly got your bonus with these sweet beauties. Keep enjoying them :o)
    Rose H

    • Jessica June 20, 2013 at 9:41 pm - Reply

      Thanks Rose. We had a family of newly fledged blue tits tonight too. They are all a pleasure to see.

  15. Suzanne Dutchess County, NY, USA June 20, 2013 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    Great shots! What is the woven looking structure they are perched on? How lovely to watch them come and go. Here in the northeast of the US we had a few different species of woodpeckers. All fascinating. The pilleated is huge. Since I am fortunate to work outdoors I see quite a few. Never long enough to catch a great shot like yours !

    • Jessica June 20, 2013 at 9:48 pm - Reply

      The woven structure is a rustic (?) cone, presumably decorative, that sits atop the inherited bird table. The squirrels are in the process of destroying it! I came across the pilleated woodpecker whilst researching the Twirl-a-Squirrel. They are so big they are almost as heavy as a squirrel and could therefore set the twirler off themselves.

  16. Rosie June 20, 2013 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    Oh, how gorgeous the little ones are – well done Mr and Mrs Woodrow! No wonder you have fun watching them:)

    • Jessica June 20, 2013 at 10:16 pm - Reply

      They are so cute Rosie, little fluffballs. They are flying really well already but even so, like your wrens, they seem so vulnerable when they are small.

  17. CherryPie June 20, 2013 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    Wow!! how wonderful 🙂

    • Jessica June 21, 2013 at 11:19 am - Reply

      They are making me quite dizzy this morning, with all their flitting about!

  18. erickett124 June 21, 2013 at 6:17 am - Reply

    fantastic shots

    • Jessica June 21, 2013 at 11:20 am - Reply

      Thanks Elaine, it was worth the wait!

  19. BadPenny June 21, 2013 at 8:23 am - Reply

    Oh lovely lovely lovely. Beautiful birds & great photos. Have you stuffed fat balls into the pyramid thingy ?

    In the woods the woodpeckers are evident from the holes in a couple of dead trees ( why do they do that – is it to get woodlice I wonder ? ) but I’ve never seen one apart from the one time on my peanut feeder.

    • Jessica June 21, 2013 at 11:27 am - Reply

      The fat balls are in hanging feeders. The pyramid is just a handy staging post!
      They nest in holes in old trees as well.

  20. Jo June 21, 2013 at 11:37 am - Reply

    How wonderful. I don’t think I’d get anything done all day if I had this little family in my garden, I’d be on constant watch for them.

    • Jessica June 21, 2013 at 12:55 pm - Reply

      This is absolutely the problem Jo… this morning I was watching one of the babies using the birds’ water bowl for a bath. So cute!

  21. haggiz June 21, 2013 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    I’ve never seen a baby woodpecker before! Beautiful photos as always Julie x

    • Jessica June 21, 2013 at 7:27 pm - Reply

      Thanks Julie. Sweet aren’t they?

  22. willow June 22, 2013 at 12:55 am - Reply

    Beautiful birds they are, and super photos !

    • Jessica June 22, 2013 at 9:54 am - Reply

      Thanks Willow!

  23. Pauline June 22, 2013 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    What marvellous photos you have taken, whenever I try to photograph them on the feeders, its always of a back view flying away!

    • Jessica June 22, 2013 at 2:27 pm - Reply

      We’ve had to get them used to a camera poking through the kitchen window. After that it’s a long cable so we can stand well back! Thanks Pauline.

  24. Helen June 22, 2013 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    What fun – I don’t think I’ve ever seen them close up before. We have swallows in our barn and a robins’ nest somewhere in the garden wall. I must put a much bigger louder bell on Fabbydoo’s collar ! (our cat)

    • Jessica June 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm - Reply

      What a wonderful name for a cat!

  25. Crafty Gardener June 22, 2013 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    Adorable photos of the woodpeckers. Have a good weekend.

    • Jessica June 22, 2013 at 7:10 pm - Reply

      Thanks! You too.

  26. knitsofacto June 23, 2013 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    What a delight! And your pictures are perfect … were you really close or do you have a very long lens?

    • Jessica June 23, 2013 at 3:26 pm - Reply

      It’s a zoom lens, although not mega long. The birds have got used to us being fairly close to the window, but it still needs a tripod and a long cable attached to the camera, so that we can stand back. Thanks Annie.

  27. Sarah June 23, 2013 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    It was lovely to see these beautiful birds, it must been wonderful watching them out of the window. I did wonder how you managed to get such good shots. If I see a bird from my window and try to grab my camera they fly away!
    Sarah x

    • Jessica June 23, 2013 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      When we first saw the chicks we opened the kitchen window (and froze!) and set up the camera for a good while until they got used to it. I am discovering that wildlife photography is 1/4 skill and 3/4 patience and discomfort!!

  28. colleen June 25, 2013 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Stunning. I get such a thrill when I see these birds around here. One often visits the telegraph poles (are they still called that?) on one of our allotments. And another turned up out of nowhere on the other allotment one late afternoon. So uplifting.

    • Jessica June 25, 2013 at 9:48 am - Reply

      Hi Colleen and welcome to rusty duck!
      I think they are still called telegraph poles. Our woodpeckers took to hammering on one of ours fairly intensively last year, before moving on to a dead oak with a bit more resonance. They are a great thrill to watch, and hear.

  29. Natalie June 27, 2013 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    Beautiful! I do so love woodpeckers.

    • Jessica June 27, 2013 at 3:43 pm - Reply

      The babies are just so cute!

  30. Bilbowaggins July 3, 2013 at 10:14 am - Reply

    Many congratulations to both Woodrow and the photographer :}

    • Jessica July 3, 2013 at 10:58 am - Reply

      And then there were three.. Mrs W is back now too, so woodpeckers everywhere. Not that I’m complaining.

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