Myland wildlife, Colchester : 27th April 2016

Working from home yesterday (Wednesday), stuck in the house all day, but the wildlife came to the window to make up for it…

My wife called me, saying, “There’s a bird with red on it! In the oak trees!”  So we both peered out of the living room window at the oak trees and for a while all I could see was oak tree, then something moved and there was a flash of red:
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A greater spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) was methodically working its way around the tree trunks and thicker branches:

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It was able to cling on almost upside down thanks to its two sets of opposing toes, as it explored the underside of large branches:
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But the most surprising thing was the fact that it obviously terrified the pair of jays occupying the oak trees. They fled to the very top of the oak trees as the woodpecker advanced towards them, raising their crests and fluffing out their feather to look bigger, but still fleeing whenever it came close, and generally looking most put out.

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Very funny.

…and then today brought a most unexpected but very pleasant surprise on the walk down to the station – but more of that tomorrow (as it’s now late)…

Author: Richard Lindsay

Having worked for 20 years in the UK statutory nature conservation agencies as Peatland Specialist in the Chief Scientist Team, I then moved to the University of East London where I ran the nature conservation degrees for several years. Now I mainly undertake research and support peatland conservation activities, including the IUCN UK Peatland Programme, within UEL's Sustainability Research Institute. I also paint.

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