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Great Spotted Woodpecker, Portbury

Great Spotted Woodpecker

The Wharf is not ideal habitat for woodpeckers, apart from green, so no surprise that it’s taken this long for great spotted to enter its list. This now stands at 89 after stalling for a while on early June’s hobby. As is so often the way I saw not one, but two, of the woodpeckers – one male, one female. No hint of a youngster with them.

What looked like gadwall did have young. It’s getting hard to tell the ducks apart now that they’re moulting into eclipse plumage. The white speculum is key to this species although mallards can show a surprising amount of white in their wings when they so choose. I should have double-checked bill colour but even so structurally my ducks looked good for gadwall.

I disturbed a buzzard. Hearing what sounded like a willow warbler, I peered close and closer into… was it a willow? I should really do better than that, shouldn’t I? Anyway, something large flapped away and I thought initially it was a sparrowhawk. My warbler reverted to chiffchaff noises, so I figured I had been listening to its alarm call. A moment later a quite definite buzzard floated by overhead and putting two and two together, I probably came up with five.

One lone rook occupied a field at the end of the walk, which just goes to show: singles are not always crows and flocks are not always rooks. Like woodpeckers, the corvids haven’t read the rulebook.

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