Friday, 17 June 2011

Woodpeckers in the Vale

Oak trees make perfect homes for woodpeckers. These shy and nervy birds shun publicity, hiding behind trunks, but the whimpering of young chicks gave away the location of this precision drilled nest. Turn on the volume to hear them plead for more food with mum and dad flying in parcels every 5 minutes or so.

I watched on and off for a couple of weeks until one day there was a different pitch and tone coming from inside. A while later the father flew off and the youngster stuck his head out with a plaintive call. It was as if this was the last chick in the nest refusing parental encouragement to fly. Maybe it was complaining about the rain or the cameraman sheltering beneath his umbrella. A day later the nest was empty.

Meanwhile another of the chicks slammed into our kitchen window taking a full 5 minutes to regain its composure. Flying at speed is a tricky business. 

Thanks to The National Trust for this beautiful nature reserve which is lovingly cared for by the wardens of CCW.

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