At breakfast yesterday when I spotted a large brown bird on our feeder (RSPB Buggy Nibbles). It was a woodpecker! Had a great view, feeder is only two feet from our window. Can only have been a juvenile black woodpecker.
Black Woodpecker? What is this species you speak of?
You probably mean a Green Woodpecker, they're brown (ish) as juveniles.
The trouble is that juvenile Black Woodpeckers are black, with bright red crowns... also Black Woodpecker doesn't breed in the UK (or even occur as a vagrant). The likeliest large (well, compared to tits and finches) brown bird to visit a garden feeder at this time of year would be a juvenile Starling:
Actually a Green woodpecker youngster would still have a red patch on the head and a slight green tinge. Did it have any of these markers?
Aiki is also right and there are a lot of young Starlings about at the moment. How big was it in relation to other birds? Are we talking bigger than a Blackbird?
My juvenile Starlings love buggy nibbles too and can cling on just like a woodpecker. Here's one doing just that which I photographed just a few minutes ago. Does that help?
Nice pic TeeJay, I was hoping someone might produce one of a Starling on a feeder. A Black Woodpecker at 47-50 cm and more than 300g would absolutely dwarf a typical birdfeeder :)
You are absolutely right, aiki. I've seen them a few times in the northern European forests and they are huge and so are their nesting holes. There's often been speculation that they would be the next species to colonise Britain as their range extends to the French coast. I guess as they are not strong long distance fliers the hop across the channel is a step too far.
Not yet had the pleasure of seeing a black woodpecker, but hope to one day! :-)
MarJusNot yet had the pleasure of seeing a black woodpecker, but hope to one day! :-)
They are definitely worth seeking out (and possible to find in a weekend, or possibly even day trip, to France). Their size really does come as a surprise to many people when they first see one!
Thanks Roy, yes one day! Used to live in France when I was much younger but didn't knowingly see one.... Will certainly be going again before too long so will make a point of finding one!
MarJusUsed to live in France when I was much younger but didn't knowingly see one.... Will certainly be going again before too long so will make a point of finding one!
Despite their size they can be surprisingly elusive! Best looked for in mature woodland early in the morning when there aren't many people about (I've had very good views of these in woodland in the Fountainbleu area just south of Paris in the past.
Thank you Roy!
Here's a Black Woodpecker seen whilst on a trip to Romania a couple of years ago.....
Oh wow! Corker!
and ditto from me, too