Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Juvenile Green Woodpecker
The Green Woodpecker is the largest British Woodpecker, about the size of a Feral Pigeon. The above pictures are of a juvenile bird, the heavily spotted and barred plumage will soon be lost as it moults into its adult plumage of vivid green with a yellow-green rump and red crown. This moult takes place between August and September. There are a fair few of these juveniles around at the moment, none more so than at Maxey GP where I have seen at least 4 individuals, including this one.
Those of us that are of a certain age will remember the television programme `Bagpuss` and perhaps the character of `Old Professor Yaffle, an old wooden book-end in the shape of a woodpecker`. The Green Woodpecker is also known as The Yaffle bird because of its unmistakable call, normally heard in Spring, but is also uttered when taking off in fright, a loud `laughing` noise, not unlike Professor Yaffles laugh.