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. ;)
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.
In reply to TeeJay:
I sit out each day with my dog... who after a bounce around (he's a young collie) then sits at my feet. This woodpecker didn't seem shy at all, and flew from branch to branch all within about 30 feet of me. It was totally amazing. I was in no way camouflaged, but I had also probably been still and silent for over an hour... ;)
We were delighted to see a woodpecker at our bird table here in North Antrim last Friday (snow on the ground) - most unexpected. It stayed around for at least five minutes - long enough for me to get a rather grainy photo. I think it's the first one seen in this area, as far as I know.
In reply to Annabel F:
That's good to hear, Annabel. I think it's only in the last 10 years or so that Great Spotted Woodpeckers have started breeding in N.Ireland. I think they are still pretty scarce but let's hope the trend continues. Very exciting for you to see one on your bird table.
Hello Sally, welcome from me. I am on the British mainland, up at the very top, in the far north, so we are quite a few miles apart (500ish)! Hope you enjoy here, love the Spotted woodie, had one only a few times in the garden.
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