You can tell that the weather is warming up. The ants get busy and then along comes this great little guy….
European Green Woodpecker
This very smart bird is a European Green Woodpecker, Picus viridis.
He and his pals visit our front garden fairly frequently since we seem to have more than our fair share of ant nests. This member of the woodpecker family spends much of its time feeding on ants, on the ground. Unlike other species of woodpecker, he does not often ‘drum’ on trees.
They are supposed to be a shy bird but I have found them to be fairly tolerant so long as you don’t make any sudden moves. When they fly away they usually do so whilst emitting their very loud and distinctive call.
Given the current cold spell I don’t begrudge these little fellows a few peanuts. Midday and -1 outside even though the sun is shining. A few snow sprinkles falling too, although too few to bother anyone.
Although I put the peanuts out for the birds, the squirrels (and Wood Pigeons) eat the bulk of them. They are always cute and entertaining, so small price to pay for their company.
Since filling the feeders this weekend we are being visited by tits of the Blue, Great and Long-tailed varieties.
This morning, there was also a Nuthatch getting his fill of sunflower hearts.
As always, the Robins are policing the garden. In the summer they typically, aggressively, chase off any other visitors to the feeders. Perhaps, due to the cold, they are being a little more magnanimous and just observing from a distance.
The Wood Pigeons sit like vultures in the trees. Observing the comings and goings of all the other birds. Since they can no longer land on the feeders, they are relegated to hoovering up the scatterings of their smaller brethren.
I just saw my first ever Firecrest, I think !
Until today I didn’t even know they existed. Such a tiny bird, flying into the garden with a bunch of tits. I guess it was trying to lose itself in the crowds, if it hadn’t been for that bright head cap I wouldn’t have noticed that there was an interloper.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture as the visit was so fleeting.
Has anyone else seen one of these in the Waterlooville area?
The following photo’s are of birds that are visiting the garden here in WA. I have no idea what species they are but offer them up for your delectation.
Should anyone be able to identify the species, please let me know.