Friday, 16 March 2012

Listen out for Drummers!

St Patricks weekend is upon us, with Mothers Day added for good measure.. a perfect time then for some rest and relaxation along a woodland trail perhaps?  If you go down to the woods, listen out for our newest and perhaps most exciting breeding species:

Adult and juvenile at  nest hole in summer (Dick Coombes)

Great Spotted Woodpeckers recolonised Ireland just a few short years ago, after record population increases were noted in Britain of 400% over the last 40 years.  The Irish population is estimated to be about 50 pairs,  mainly located down our east coast counties,  but there's a record too from county Kerry and theres no shortage of prime oak woodland there. Apart from colonising prime oak forests, birds have been turning up on garden nut feeders. 

This month and April, are about the best time to locate birds on the breeding territories: The loud and resonant drumming in defence and advertisement of a territory, is delivered mainly in early morning and is a distinctive sound that carries a great distance.. Look too for signs of Woodpeckers with nest holes and drill holes from feeding forays on dead timber.  If you hear or see a woodpecker in Ireland, I would love to hear from you

Juvenile, with red crown at nut feeder in late summer (Dick Coombes)

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