Thursday, April 09, 2020

The Good Old days

Suddenly proper outdoors time is at a premium, and it's tricky to keep an eye on what's happening even locally. Last years woodpecker hole, on the route of one of our regular walks, shows no signs of a nuthatch using it yet, despite them having a good look last year after the woodpeckers had moved out.

When I saw the nest last year (well as usual I heard it first) I had high hopes of some good photo opportunities, but this pair were clearly spooked by my presence despite best efforts, so I rapidly decided to leave them to it.

As it turned out I did get a chance to snap another nest. Again I found it when I heard the youngsters calling.  I'd been heading to see a wood warbler that had belatedly arrived in the 'usual' spot, but decided instead to spend the session with the GSW's.  Fortunately this pair were much more accommodating and rapidly settled into a pattern of regular feeding visits to some well developed youngsters, and although the light levels were a bit low and the leaf cover lent a green colour cast to many of the pics I did get some ok shots.  If you look at the big versions you might even see some woodpecker spit!

The tree had 3 or 4 older nest holes (you can see another in these shots), so was clearly seen as a good nest site.  I only had the one session before they fledged, but I had hoped to check it again this year.  However the Forest of Dean is sadly well beyond reach during lockdown.  I have spotted a hole that I think is new and in use near another of our daily walks - now that might be do-able if things relax a little bit, but I have doubts that I will be re-retired in time to take good advantage.

Stay safe.

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