Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday 115 - Green Woodpecker

Many of you may have noticed from my comments on your blogs that Woodpeckers are one of my favourite types of bird.  I used to love watching them - and (of all things) I took my now wife to see a nest of Great Spotted Woodpeckers on our (sort of!) first date!

However, there is no a single woodpecker in Australia.While there are many woodpeckers in SE Asia, this group of birds does not make it over the Wallace Line - that great schism in biodiversity that cuts Australia from the rest of the world.

So, when I was in the UK I was keen to see some woodpeckers again.  I managed to see Great Spotted on my first day there - and saw them a few times after as well.  But I was never able to get any pictures.

In the last week of the trip I was in Somerset - and there feeding on the lawn of our accommodation was a Green Woodpecker.  This was another case of quick dash for a camera.  The birds we a bit too nervous to get too close, so the images are a bit over cropped.  But none the less it was great to see them.

The bird in these pictures is a juvenile, the adults lack the barred feathers above and below.




Also, my kids got to see and hear them as well.  An old name for this bird is a Yaffle - which is a rendering of its laughing call.  (For those of you in the UK of a certain age, you may remember the wooden bookend woodpecker in Bagpuss called Professor Yaffle).

The Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis) often feeds on the ground, and has a well known appetite for ants.  Strangely, most of the other species in this genus live in SE Asia.


Now its over to all you other bird bloggers, bloggers who bird and such like!

We seem to have stabilised the WBW community at about 50 people - but more would be good.  So, invite your friends, share this post on Google+ and maybe even Facebook!

Click away!


49 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

glad you got to see one, again - and your kids, too. it's a handsome juvie. :)

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Great find and shot of this lovely bird. I have seen it on the I.O.W. but we do not have it here in Northern Ireland

Sylvia K said...

Now that's a new one for me!! A handsome fellow indeed and great shots for the day, Stewart, as always! Hope your week is going well!!

EG CameraGirl said...

How wonderful that you were able to show the Yaffle to your kids!

Chris Rohrer said...

Woodpeckers are amazing. And strange!!! There are quite a few as you know here in Arizona.....including our very own Arizona Woodpecker:) I would love to find this European beauty!

Gunilla Bäck said...

A very handsome woodie.

Sharon Wagner said...

I haven't posted any woodpeckers for WBW. But I do have some shots somewhere. It is fun to reflect on all the birds I've posted so far. Great shots of the greenie.

Adam Jones said...

Great shots Stewart. I've yet to get a decent one of these. Like you said, they're very wary, but you can't miss that call. Sounds like they're laughing at me as they fly out of sight.

Mama Zen said...

Beautiful captures!

Marie said...

How wonderful you got to see a woodpecker again, and your family as well! I didn't realize that you didn't have any in Australia.He's so great...and you can see where he gets his name! :-)

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I have always been fascinated by woodpeckers. Love them.

Camila Rafaela Felippi said...

Woodpeckers are amazing! And it's not just because I like the cartoon!

Sikora Modraszka said...

Photos are very great.

Christian Weiß said...

Woodpeckerrs are great birds and a group that has a rising number of individuals in central Europe. That there are no woodpeckers in Australia is new for me.

Andrea Priebe said...

I underestimated you, Stewart. Taking your "potential wife to be" to see a Spotted Woodpecker Nest was pretty wily ... after that date, you knew she was open to your love of birding and she knew what she was getting into ... a match made in heaven.

Like you, I love the Woodpeckers ... I have at least five different woodpeckers that come to my feeders (mostly the suet). My favorite of those is the little Nut Hatch who is just loaded with personality and conversation. The one I have never managed to see, though I am told they live in this area, is the Pileated Woodpecker. He is big and gorgeous and hopefully someday I will be posting him on my blog. I have to say that I hadn't heard of the Green Woodpecker, but find him to be gorgeous as green is one of my favorite colors. I am so glad you were able to see some woodpeckers on your stay in the UK ... I can't imagine life with woodpeckers, but I will say that Australia has a myriad of birds that we have none of as well, so I guess we can call it even. Great pictures (mine are always over cropped because I don't have a giant lens like yours, so I am not offended by it :) and wonderfully informative post ... Be well, Stewart!

Andrea @ From the Sol

DesertHen said...

I don't see them often, but once in great while, we will have one or two woodpeckers come through the farm here in Nevada.

mick said...

Great to get photos of the Green Woodpecker and how lucky to have it on the lawn so close.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Gorgeous bird! And I think that first date sounds perfect.

Brian King said...

It reminds me of our Flickers - very similar plumage.

eileeninmd said...

I love the woodpeckers too, they are cool birds. I am glad you were able to this green woodie during your UK trip! beautiful bird and photos.. Thanks for hosting, have a happy week!

John @ Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I never knew of a Green variety before.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Green. Huh.

Handsome fello

Bethany Carson said...

I've never seen a woodpecker quite like that before! Enjoyed the shots!

bailey-road.com said...

What a beautiful bird! I love woodpeckers too.

Revrunner said...

Didn't know about this species.

Arija said...

Doesn't it make sour heart flip over when you see a bird from your 'other' life? Mine certainly did when I heard a woodpecker in Latvia and managed to track him down in the depths of the forest.
Glad you had the experience.

Al said...

Nice shots! We have woodpeckers here in Colorado but I've never photographed one.

thewovenspoke said...

What a neat woodpecker, I know the ones here are mostly black, white and red. It is interesting to see a green woodpecker, I am glad you got to see and photograph one.

Lee said...

Isn't he a lovely little bird! I fell in love with him at first sight. :)

Karen said...

Terrific captures! I rarely see a woodpecker on the ground!

Gail Dixon said...

What a cool bird to see! It's a new one on me. Beautiful photos. Thanks for hosting the meme, Stewart!

Jo said...

Hi Stewart I have pups and their mum protecting them from "wild birds" on my post today! I have plugged WBW specifically today; I will also mail several birders/bloggers to check out your site. I never knew you didn't get woodpeckers in Oz. One of my fave birds as well. I will be back with "real" birds soon. Greetings, Jo (East Africa)

Christian Perrin said...

I love woodpeckers too! Perhaps not enough to take a first date there though, haha! Though it obviously worked out very well for you!

This species was a little more common in the parks of London when I lived there, and I cherished the drilling sounds of the woods every spring. Glad you got to see them on your trip back to the UK.

Irma said...

Beautiful pictures of the green woodpecker, Stewart.
I've never seen this.
Greetings from Irma

bas van Es said...

Prachtig om hem te zien.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

I love the olive green coloring on this woodpecker Stewart...none like it here in the states.

lindaakacraftygardener said...

That is great you got to see a couple more woodpeckers on your trip to England.

Roan said...

I want to see one! He's gorgeous!

Pete Shanley said...

The old "there's a woodpecker nest I'd like to show you" trick!

As you would guess I am not familiar with woodpeckers but I have noticed there is some variation in bill shape.

Felicia said...

they are beautiful. I've never seen one before.

Ida said...

How exciting. I've never seen this woodpecker before so this was a treat for me. He's quite handsome. Loved that shot of him sitting on the fence.

Nette Cecilia said...

A new bird to mee ,lovley ,Nette

Susan (ABON) said...

I love Woodpeckers too! These are great shots, Stewart. Such a handsome bird.

A Quiet Corner said...

OMG! Stewart...first of all, olive is my favorite color...,could you catch one of these and send it to me for my yard? Actually, a pair would be ideal!...Thanks...:)JP

Linda said...

Interesting woodpecker. And a great blog hop!

pattisjarrett said...

Close to 50, and I'm always late to the party! Thanks for hosting, Stewart. Love this Green Woodpecker, thanks for sharing. I've never seen this color. How boring if all our birds were the same, right?

Montanagirl said...

He's beautiful - I have seen one of those. Like the fence too!

Wally Jones said...

Happy to hear you were able to spot a Woodpecker during your trip, Stewart! And a handsome young thing, too. (Referring to the woodpecker......)

Sorry to have been absent for a bit. Life keeps interrupting.

All the best from stormy Florida!

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

You did get some nice photos of the Green Woodpecker. In body shape and habits it reminds me of our Northern Flicker, so commonly seen on the ground eating ants.