Great Spotted Woodpecker

Hi everyone, I am new to this forum but love reading your comments. A few months ago a female Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen feeding from one of our bird feeders in our garden. We were over the moon at having seen her and delighted that she became a regular visitor. Then suddenly we stopped seeing her and then out of the blue, we saw a male woodpecker at our bird feeder. The female has not been seen since but the male has returned several times, at approximately the same time and that is late afternoons. For the past few weeks he too has not been seen. We put out their favourite food such as peanuts and dried fruit, but alas no sign of either woodpecker. Has anyone else experienced this. Many thanks Jeanette bird lover. 

  • Hi,

    Autumn is probably the most likely time of year when gardens get visitors that don't stick around. Very hard to say why birds don't come back to feeders that they know exist.

    A couple of issues with great spotted woodpeckers is 1) they do have predators 2) they, like green woodpeckers (and many other wildlife species), are not good at crossing roads. I've often seen woodpeckers that had been hit by vehicles. If you have a major road nearby, that may be an explanation.

    It could well be that they prefer habitat somewhere else and were just passing for a few days/weeks.
  • Hi Jeanette, welcome to the forum.
    I get GSW in the garden often but they can disappear from time to time. I notice they prefer the suet blocks to feed from than the peanuts. I also see them being chased away many times by the magpies so maybe thats a reason they disappear from my garden but as Robbo said its hard to say why birds dont come back sometimes.

    Hopefully yours shall return soon

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)

  • Hi Jeanette
    Yes its strange but think on the bright side, it might have found a new mate and gone to new feeding grounds.
    I once had a brambling visit my feeders, but unfortunately it never came back, Look forward to any new visitors that you may get in your garden, its great when you get one,
  • Thanks everyone for your advice. We do not live near a busy road, we do provide suet and unfortunately we do have a lot of magpies. Perhaps it was them who scared our woodpeckers away. Fortunately we have many birds that visit our feeders including blue tits, great tits, goldfinches, sparrows, robins and occasionally a chaffinch. We also have regular sightings of red kites as they hover above our garden. We are plagued by starlings and perhaps they frightened off our woodpeckers. Hopefully one day our Great Spotted Woodpeckers will return. In the meantime, we will continue to enjoy the birds that do visit our garden and bring us so much joy. Many thanks. Jeanette bird lover.
  • Hello Janette welcoome from Caithness, up at the very top of Scotland. It is exciting when we get the birds in our gardens and feeders. One day a few weeks ago I had a fleeting visit from a woodpecker, must have been passing through, as I never saw it again. Over the years they have been around but only for a quick visit. The red kites would have been some sight over your head. Look out for some autum/winter visitors coming to feed now.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • In reply to Catlady:

    I wonder if your name (cat lady) may give a clue to the disappearance ;-)
  • Could not be ruled out, but I would think that a Woodpecker may be too quick and would be off at the first sign of noise?

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Hi everyone, I bring great news. Today on Saturday14th November 2020, at 15:50 pm, we saw our female Great Spotted Woodpecker at our bird feeder, for the first time in weeks. Wonders will never cease. It was raining and getting dark, but there she was all alone munching away at the peanuts, dried fruit and the suet. We have never seen her eating suet before, but perhaps she had done previously, just hadn’t seen her. We are absolutely delighted that she returned and hopefully the male will too. It is possible they had returned when we weren’t looking, but in any case we are over the moon at her return and hopefully both will become regular visitors again. Jeanette bird lover.
  • Fantastic news

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)