20th Mat 2011 - Great Spotted Woodpecker - Chicks Not far from fledging

I was priviliged to find a new Great Spotted Woodpecker’s nesting hole a few weeks ago and have been keeping an eye on it ever since. The nesting site is only a few metres from a Peregrine Falcon’s nesting ledge at Cann Quarry in Plymbridge Woods where the adults are presently sitting on their eggs with a hatching estimate of the end of May which is a month later than normal for this area.
It was while carrying out my duties of the Peregrine Protection Team organised by the National Trust that I first saw the new “Woodpecker’s Hole”. Confirmation came later by a constant call of the young in the nest.

Yesterday, 20 May I spent 4 hours watching the nest from a little portable hide and was rewarded with the spectacle of a very busy feeding cycle. The adult male was doing most of the work and only occasionally did I see the female. He seemed to be returning to the nest about every 20 minutes. When I first began my watch it was about every 40 minutes but I assumed that was because of him having to get used to me being there. Once he got used to the fact that I was not going to harm him he seemed to be quite happy. At first he had done a recce. of the area flying round from tree to tree making sure it was safe to approach the nesting hole. He was carrying a variety of food for the chicks ranging from seeds to insects and catterpillars which is clearly shown in the pictures attatched.

I have found many Woodpecker’s nests over the last few years but this one is the most accessible and easiest photographed. It is also quite low and is situated just below where the oakwood is beginning to decay.

One of the photos shows the recipient chick being fed and you can see that it will not be long before fledging.

Comments

21 May, 2011
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eje said:

What a fantastic blog John!! many thanks.

21 May, 2011
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bonkersbon said:

Wonderful series of photos JW .. great to be able to capture in such detail at a more convenient height and nice to see dad working hard too ..

21 May, 2011
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johnhwright said:

Thank you eje and BB for your very motivating comments. Having retired and with lots of time on my hands I do spend a lot of time in search of the perfect pic and it is brilliant to get positive reviews. Makes me want to get out there all the more. Thanks again

John

21 May, 2011
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littlewren said:

brilliant blog and fantastic photos of something we rarely see.

21 May, 2011
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littlewren said:

brilliant blog and fantastic photos of something we rarely see.

22 May, 2011
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jane said:

Well done with your sterling work for the Peregrine Protection Team John.Glad it gave you the opportunity to study this nesting Woodpecker from your vantage point.Lovely to see the variety of food being offered..never seen a woodpecker chick before so many thanks for sharing.

22 May, 2011
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david said:

Thank You so much, firstly for the work you do protecting Peregrine Falcons, and also for this blog with your amazing photos. So glad you have shared this with us here.

23 May, 2011
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great blog John. Lucky you,

23 May, 2011
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donna said:

Lovely blog and such great photos

25 May, 2011
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muddywalters said:

Great blog JW and super photos. Love no.3 showing those 'extra stiff' tail feathers.

25 May, 2011
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muddywalters said:

Great blog JW and super photos. Love no.3 showing those 'extra stiff' tail feathers.

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