I heard Boris say he wants us back to work today but not sure how this works for SE Fitness! I will need a couple of days to study the detail but it didn’t sound like our walking and running groups should all head out for a mass meet up any time very soon. Meanwhile let’s stick with the more cheerful prospect of the nature notes.
In the last week John and I have heard the woodpecker drumming in Gumslade woods. There are two woodpeckers you are most likely to see, or much more likely hear, in our parks. The first is the Great Spotted Woodpecker which is striking black and white with the males having a distinctive red patch on the back of the head. Young birds have a red crown. The bird will cling to tree trunks and branches and almost always on the side away from you!
The only time I can recall seeing one clearly was back in primary school. A woodpecker flew into our garden and spent quite a while drumming on the trunk of the old willow tree at the back. My Dad encouraged us to look him up in our little Collins bird book and read all about him. This would, undoubtedly have made us late for school as we were always cutting it fine. I don’t remember what the school said but I have a clear recollection of what the Great Spotted Woodpecker looks like!
The last woodpecker I saw in Sutton Park (saw rather than heard) was just as we were returning to Wyndley and it was feeding on the grassy slope near the Toby. It was a Green Woodpecker which are green on the upperparts with a paler belly, bright yellow rump and red on his head. They feed on the ground and eat ants so the short grass there would suit them well.
Woodpeckers breed in holes which they peck in dead wood which is why if you listen out when you’re out on your walk or run at the moment you are quite likely to hear them. Good Luck!