Around the end of May, Lee and I were walking down the Chesterfield canal and heard a woodpecker among the trees down one of the paths. We stood for quite some time looking, but couldn’t see anything. This time of the year can be quite difficult to spot birds, as the trees are very green and leafy. However, we kept hearing its sharp ‘kik’ call over and over again.
We didn’t give up, and kept following the call. Eventually, we were rewarded with a fantastic sight: a young great spotted woodpecker with its head out of the hole in a tree, calling to its parent. Amazing! We stood watching the parent coming to feed the baby for quite some time, of course, careful not to get too close and disturb them.
The baby was almost out of the nesting hole and one point, so we’re quite sure that it would have fledged pretty soon afterwards.
The great spotted woodpecker is fairly common, and can sometimes be seen in gardens, particularly in rural areas. It loves woodland, hedgerows and parks, and we have also spotted them in King’s Park. We’ve seen them down the River Idle, and they can often be found by hearing their call or the drumming noise they make when they tap the trees.
This was an amazing birding moment for us, one which we felt privileged to be able to watch.
In the meantime, Lee is still in hospital recovering from a quadruple heart bypass, which took place on Tuesday this week. He’s making a good recovery and is in good spirits most of the time! However, I’m sure he’d rather be bird watching!
Lee before his operation.