Sunday, December 5, 2010

Great Spotted Woodpecker, Phoenix Park

After dropping Cara off to Heuston, I decided I'd take a walk in Phoenix Park.
Am I glad I did.
Because the snow was so thick and it was so cold, I nearly had the park to myself.
Nearly.

Phoenix Park, Dublin, 5 December 2010.
Long Tailed Tit, there was a flock of 6
Grey Squirrel, Phoenix Park
I know we're supposed to hate them, but it's difficult!
Robin Orange Breast
Jackdaw, Phoenix Park - look at that eye against the snow
Whilst taking these photos I heard drumming up in the nearby trees.
The drumming was similar to that of the woodpeckers I had heard in the woods in Berlin earlier in the year and the woodpeckers I'd heard near our house in Yorkshire.
But here? In Ireland? In Dublin? Above my head in Phoenix Park?

I moved around the wood but the crunching snow under my boots didn't really make for silent moves and the drumming stopped.

With lots of squirrels around, maybe it was a squirrel, sometimes Rooks make a drumming noise..
I hunched down against a tree and sat still.
I sat and appreciated the peace and quiet for the first 20 minutes, after 30 minutes I was distracted with the shapes my breath was making in the air, by 40 mins my bones were pretty much frozen and my muscles and blood supply was starting to complain, I needed to get up and move.
Stubborness sometimes has its advantages though, as I waited another 10 minutes and heard the drumming start up again.

There were no dog walkers, no parents with loud children, the rent boy who had been checking me out had thankfully moved on, so I had the drumming to myself.
I craned my neck around and didn't have to move from where I was sitting, (just as well, my body was pissed off with me and wasn't moving) and there she was!!
High up in a tree hammering away at the bark - my first sighting of a female Greater Spotted Woodpecker in Ireland!
And I managed a photo!

Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Phoenix Park, Dublin (Dec 2010).
Female Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Phoenix Park
Female Greater Spotted Woodpecker, a male would have a red crown.
Dog walkers soon arrived and the Woodpecker flew away, but it was a great sighting and cooler because it was completely by chance and I was by myself.

Tree Creeper, Phoenix park
Tree Creeper.
Wren
Jay, I think I saw 4, but could have been same couple at different times.
Mistle Thrush, was having big scraps with Blackbirds
Redwings and Fieldfare
Redwing and Blackbird, for once not fighting each other over the berries
The female GS Woodpecker again on my way out of the woods.
Hooded Crows, gathering together to roost.
Phoenix park, Dublin