Green Woodpecker

I have seen and photographed the Great Spotted Woodpecker many times. I have even managed to get photos of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (see article here). However the third member of the British Woodpecker family, the Green Woodpecker, has proved elusive so far. I have managed to see the bird a few times but I have never managed to get a photo.

Earlier in the summer I paid a visit to Dunham Massey, reputed to be a good area for Woodpeckers in general. On previous visits I have found Great Spotted many times and searched in vain for Lesser Spotted, but this time Green Woodpecker was the main quarry. It was a pleasant sunny day, ideal for a walk in the park. I stopped in the northeast corner of the park in an area containing mixed woodland and open spaces; however the open space was covered by bracken except for the path. I sat on a bench and waited to see what appeared.

After 20 minutes or so and no action I was thinking of moving on when suddenly there was a green and yellow flash over the bracken. A Green Woodpecker had come from behind me and disappeared into the trees ahead. Well, at least I had found a bird but it seemed likely that was as good a sighting as I was likely to get. However, a few minutes later the green flash reappeared over the bracken and this time the bird landed on path! It was about 100 yards away and a bit out of range. Luckily there was a tree about halfway between, so very carefully I used the tree as cover to stalk as close as possible. The bird was still there when I reached the tree and I managed to get a couple of better shots before another visitor came down the path and scared it away. That was the last I saw of it as it never came back. Job done!

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