Then we had a surprise - a constant high-pitched noise heard behind Prendergast School turned out to be coming from a hole high up in some kind of ornamental oak tree. The arrival at the hole of a male Great Spotted Woodpecker and then soon after a female confirmed that we had found a nest with hungry woodpecker fledglings. They couldn't be seen from ground level, so numbers are uncertain but we will be keeping an eye on the nest. There are normally between five to seven eggs in a GSW brood, but eggs and fledglings can be taken by other birds while the parents are out hunting for food. While we were there, the female was seen at a tree some thirty yards away, presumably digging insects out of the bark.
|Male and female GSWs. Female has no red patch on back of head, but does have red under the tail like the male|
A few days earlier (25th), Sue spotted three Pied Wagtails on the bowling green and then witnessed a Sparrowhawk swoop down on them! All three appeared to evade capture.
Woodpecker Update: the picture below was taken by my daughter on Saturday afternoon (2 June) and shows one of the fledglings peeping out of the hole. The crimson crown on top of its head will disappear with its first moult. Hopefully, it's not an only child...