My passion for photography extends to many things however birds are one of my most exciting subjects. I love a jaunt especially if it means I get to photograph one of my favourite birds. The Great Spotted Woodpecker.(Dendrocopos Major).
From the planning of the trip to being in the woodland the anticipation of the day ahead is always so exciting. Will the birds show, will I get the photo I desire, will the lighting be good.
The lighting is paramount for photographing woodland birds as this will determine the quality of the shot. I like to shoot ISO as low as possible, however with my camera ISO can go very high and I don’t get too much noise.
Trekking off into the woodland the Great Spotted Woodpecker will often be heard before it is seen, you can either hear the drumming noise they make when on the side of a tree or hear the noise they make when in flight.
The drum noise is the Woodpecker pecking into trees in search of food or to create a nesting site. The Woodpeckers breed in holes excavated in living or dead trees which are often unlined apart from some wood chips in any woodland areas.
Both the parents incubate the eggs, feed the chicks, and keep the nest clean. When the young fledge and leave the nest they are fed by the adults for about ten days or so. This is wonderful to watch when out in the woodland.
The great spotted woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker with pied black and white plumage and a red patch on the lower belly.
Males and young birds also have red markings on the neck or head.The red comes down further to the front of the head of young birds.
The woodpecker occurs in all types of woodlands and eats a variety of foods.
Great Spotted woodpeckers can be seen in woodlands and can also be found in parks and large gardens. They will come to peanut feeders and bird tables. They will eat a variety of food but love suet.
They can be very wary of people and if seen or disturbed will often flee immediately away into the woodland.
Woodpeckers can and often attack nest boxes which have chicks in.
Great Spotted Woodpeckers aren’t found in the far north of Scotland. Some will breed in Ireland however are most common in England and Wales.
I have been photographing Woodpeckers for a while now and the pleasure in spending a day with them to and froing in the woodland is a perfect way for me to spend time amongst these beautiful birds.