When it comes to great spotted woodpeckers, until today, I've always been the one who's going "WHERE? WHERE?" whilst someone else is saying "Surely you didn't miss that one".
So, imagine my surprise and delight on getting a wonderful view of a hen woodpecker this afternoon. I've been visiting my father,who is a keen photographer, in Malvern this weekend . He and my uncle have constructed a hide in a friend's small orchard. I went down to the farm with my father this afternoon, to help him top up the bird feeders before it got dark. There were a few forms darting about in the nearby branches as we filled the various seed holders up - we could hear great tits, blue tits and gold finches. We went into the hide to see if any of these small birds would come in once we'd hidden ourselves. Barely had we sat down when a gorgeous hen great spotted woodpecker landed on the peanuts, about 10 foot away. She ate her fill for around 5 minutes, occasionally chasing off cheeky blue tits who got too close to her. Then she flew away and we left.
The photo is not of her, but a juvenile male woody who got into the habit of visiting Dad in the summer, until he moved on to a more permanent territory. He's sat in a bamboo, in the back garden.