More Drama than the BBC

An early morning start to hopefully watch the woodpeckers fledge ended up being an emotional roller coaster!

As I arrived I noticed one young woodpecker clinging to the tree near the nest hole and the other squawking from the hole at the top of his lungs. The parents flew in and fed both before I was distracted by a real commotion further down the path with numerous birds mobbing a tawny owl. As I’d never photographed one before I seized the opportunity.


 When the owl had finally had enough of the attention it was getting and flew away I returned to the woodpeckers and noticed the one that had been out of the nest had disappeared. After scouting around the tree I realised it had fallen and was on the ground by the path. As the wood is a popular dog walking area I couldn’t leave it where it was so picked it up and let it grab back onto the trunk hoping it would make its way back up. However it fell off again and after contacting a friend for advice placed it in a tree close by, hopefully to be soon spotted by its parents.


I decided it was probably best to leave them alone and went off to see if the nuthatches were still in residence. The parents were busy flying in to feed but it was obvious the chicks would soon be on their way as they constantly popped their heads out to look around. One decided it was time to venture out but quickly changed its mind either deterred by the chilly wind or the sight of me!


The bluetits were busy feeding and had a lucky escape when the male woodpecker had a go at grabbing a chick, but the location of the nest down in the knot of the tree seemed to be enough to stop it.

Close by a great tit was busy collecting material for a nest probably for its second brood of the year.


As I set off to leave I thought I’d check on the woodpecker chick to see if it was OK and my heart sank as I approached and saw it grabbed by a crow!!

A morning of drama, emotion, joy and heartbreak. Who needs Game of Thrones!


  1. Amazing!! Ah, the realities of watching wildlife. It’s often the case that a fallen one won’t recover. I did wonder if you were about to tell us that the owl had taken it! Yes, mine are certainly under threat from the corvids but I’m hopeful that at least one or two make it. That tawny is utterly beautiful! So pleased for you to have seen it 😀

    • spugwash · May 23, 2017

      At least one fledged but the one that fell was a lot smaller and should have still been in the nest. Fabulous to finally snap the tawny though.

      • It did look far too young to be out! I wondered if the other one might have accidentally pushed it out when making its own exit? It happens sometimes I think. Lovely for us all to see the photo of the tawny owl 😀 They don’t really get pictured as much as our other species and they’re such beautiful birds!

        • spugwash · May 25, 2017

          Will be after the tawny now

          • Haha, it’s going to drive you nuts hearing it and not finding it 😉 Little punks only went and fledged overnight or really early in the morning when I wasn’t there!! Can I actually get sight of the little blighters?!? They no exactly where I am I know it! Did find a blackcap which is a good sighting on the canal 😀

          • spugwash · June 1, 2017

            The twanys easier to spot than you think, just wait for the blackbirds to kick off and it’ll be close by. Shame you missed the punks fledge

          • The blackbirds usually kick off when the crows are nearby!! Watched a bold little wren chase off a jay from near it’s nest site 🙂 Would have loved to get a look at the nest myself but it was totally inaccessible!

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