Nature Notes

Woodpeckers

A handsome woodpecker paid me a short visit last Saturday. I was idly gazing out of my living-room window on Saturday afternoon and saw a Green Woodpecker probing about on the grassy area just a few metres from me. It was doing what woodpeckers love to do when their normal food supply of grubs and insects is a bit low in wintertime - they drop to the ground from trees and hunt for ants by probing into soft ground with their long sticky tongue, and as they are quite vulnerable at ground level they are constantly checking for predators. There are 3 Woodpeckers to look out for: Lesser Spotted, Greater Spotted and Green. They are respectively about 6, 9 and 12 inches long. The one that paid me a brief visit had lovely green upper feathers, and it's lower ones were a pastel shade of yellow, the colour of it's head and the nape of it's neck were both red. Sadly I did not have a camera ready to include a picture with this entry but maybe next time, because my avian visitor has been seen in the area by other people living nearby.