great spotted woodpecker drumming sequel

Great spotted woodpecker drumming sequel

Great spotted woodpecker drumming sequel: well, here’s the shot. I’m still not happy though. Ask any wildlife cameraman and you will rarely find that they are totally happy with anything they shoot. The shot could always be, ‘Just a little bit closer; if only there was no heat haze.’ And so on. I could write a book of excuses. In the end you realise that nobody is listening and that all the time you’ve actually been talking to yourself.

This is this the post that I wrote earlier this year about filming woodpeckers drumming. It has been quite a frustrating affair, but some of that I blame on not having enough time to properly devote to the task. And there I go again, yet another excuse. But time did drift by this year, what with paid filming, writing, gardening and family stuff. Before I knew it April had arrived and the woodpeckers were already reducing the frequency of their drumming. I managed to squeeze in one last session early one morning and sat under the camouflage netting hoping for the best.

great spotted woodpecker male
great spotted woodpecker – the male spent a lot of time on this tree

While waiting there the woodpeckers were very busy and vocal in the vicinity of the drumming tree. I got quite excited when one of the birds landed on the exact drumming spot of the dead tree, but it turned out to be the female. If she had drummed I wouldn’t have minded at all, as shots of the female drumming are quite thin on the ground I think. Last time I wrote about the female drumming around the back of the tree, but I could only just see her side. This time she didn’t drum but spotted the male and flew off in his direction. The picture above is a still from one of the video shots.

Time moved on and I started to think that the great spotted woodpecker drumming sequel was going to bomb at the box office. The male was around, but he just wasn’t coming to the tree to drum. Happily there was plenty of other action to keep me interested. A roe deer buck approached to within 10 yards or so before realising that the ‘bush’ I was under looked a little suspicious. He sauntered off trying to look nonchalant while keeping a beady eye on the weird looking bush.

Finally my patience was rewarded. You can see the result in the video below. Ideally I’d like to be nearer the level of the bird or even above it looking towards the woodland floor. That is not possible at this site: a tower hide or tree seat would attract attention. I don’t want anyone poking around near a woodpecker nest site. I’d also like better light on the bird. Being very critical the shot isn’t as steady as I’d like it to be, and that’s a whole new topic for discussion. There are at least three excuses I can think of for that problem.

Next year – I’ll try again next year.