Woodpeckers in N.Ireland?

Just joined the forum, so I hope I've put this in the right place.... anyway..... Today I saw a Greater Spotted Woodpecker!! The page linked below suggests they are not usually seen in Ireland. So I thought I'd just ask if anyone else has seen one in N.Ireland? It is fairly distinctive and I got a lovely view of it, so doubt that I have misidentified it. I am in Co.Down. http://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/discoverandlearn/birdguide/name/g/greatspottedwoodpecker/index.aspx
  • Great Spotted Woodpeckers have been back in Northern Ireland for about 10 years - their recolonisation of Ireland is probably a consequence of very strong population increases in Great Britain. They are still quite rare though. Well spotted :)

    My blog: http://mazzaswildside.blogspot.co.uk/

    My Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/124028194@N04/

  • Hi Sally and welcome to the Community

    Great Spotted Woodpeckers have started to recolonise Ireland only in the last few years.

    I found this RSPB article about them being seen down the east coast of NI but particularly in your home county.


    They are also spreading to the South particularly around Wicklow.


    I'm lucky enough to get them coming to feeders in my garden.

    When you are out and about listen for their drumming which they will be starting about now as a prelude to the breeding season.



    My Flickr Photostream 

  • In reply to aiki:

    Ah thanks..  Was quite excited to see it today.  I'd only ever seen one in pictures before, so to get such an amazing view was incredible!  I'm hoping to see him again....    

  • In reply to Sally B:

    Thanks for the link TeeJay... so fairly recent then.  

    He was in the vicinity of feeders, but I haven't seen him on them yet.  This is out in woodland planted about 15 years ago.  

    I sit out there for a couple of hours most days (I'm not very physically active - health issues) and so I've no doubt if he's interested in the feeders he'll be back.  Must look out my camera. ;)

  • In reply to Sally B:

    Hope you do see it again, Sally. You'll have to sit quietly or well concealed as they are easily spooked. 

    They are colourful birds but can be quite aggressive with other birds and will predate nestlings of smaller birds like Blue Tits, for example, if they get the chance. Just to whet your appetite here's a video of a male at the feeder in my garden. As you will see he doesn't like to share.

    Best viewed in full screen.