Pumpkin Demise but Woodpecker Surprise

Having blogged excitedly about the success of our pumpkin birdfeeder last week, I came home from work the following day to find a sad little orange heap on the grass.


I suspect one of our magpies was the culprit – too heavy for the already soft flesh of the pumpkin to support the added weight. While I did feel a bit sad that the pumpkin feeder was no more (can you actually mourn a large orange member of the squash family?), at least it saved me having to decide when was the right time to take it down and send it to its final resting place (the compost heap).

So the trail camera got moved to point at some of the other feeders instead. I wasn’t expecting anything other than the usual suspects – sparrows, blue tits, the occasional robin if I was lucky. So I was very surprised when I downloaded the latest set of video clips to find a Greater Spotted Woodpecker!


She (and I’m fairly sure she is a she – no red patch on the head) has so far visited the peanuts three times this weekend. In 10 years living here, I can only remember catching a glimpse of a woodpecker once in the garden and that was years ago. So it was a huge surprise to discover we have one visiting fairly regularly at the moment. Of course we’ve still not seen our woodpecker in the flesh, but the trail camera never lies – she must just choose to come when we’re looking elsewhere. Perhaps this is reason enough to abandon any household chores and just sit staring down the garden for the rest of the day?

Anyway we now have about 20 short videos of our woodpecker. In most she is focussed on the peanuts while a few sparrows feast nearby on the suet block.

But in this one, something spooks the sparrows and the woodpecker stops feeding and lines herself up on the peanut feeder – perhaps to make herself less visible. Whatever it was couldn’t have been too scary though as she was back to the peanuts a few seconds later.

This is one of the things I love about having the trail camera in the garden now. You just never know what is going to pop up on it. Makes me wonder what else visits our garden that we just don’t see?

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