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Natural History


Again I have been interested in Natural History since childhood. I started writing a book on animal classification in my first year at secondary school. I never completed it as there were already better books available. However, the research for my book did give me a good understanding of the structures of classification systems. At the time that I started compiling the book I thought that there were only two primary classifications known as Kingdoms. This was based on the Linnaean classification. The Animal Kingdom and the Plant Kingdom.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

A walk in the park

It is spring 2020, and we are in the midst of the Covid 19 lockdown. Part of our allowed time outside is for exercise in a local park. So that is the destination, on foot, less than 10 minutes away. On one of the walks, Wendy noticed a noise coming from high up in a tree. Similar to chicks in a nest when adults are nearby with foor, but continuous. No keep quiet and hid in this nest. Just pump up the volume and let the world know that you have been born and that you crave food. More food, now.

Our first photos were taken using a mobile phone, short video clips without sound as it was very windy. The wind was actually useful as it kept moving the branches and leaves out of the way. The next day the wind was less and another, longer clip, with sound this time.

The following day we were pleased that they had not fledged as we had come equipped this time. David and I went out specifically to take photos. David, primarily on the video camera an me with my Pentax K1 and 300mm prime lens. The photos here are just a selection of the nest in the truck of the tree, of a family of Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

There are some other birds nearby which also get a lookin, but mainly it is about the noisy woodpeckers.

The chicks first, poking their heads out into the world. Having a look around before going back into the borrowed hole, and doing some more screeching.

The highlight though, was when an adult appeared, either the dad with a red back of the neck or the mum without. Food in beak ready to be shared. Not just first come first served, but distributed among the chicks.

A sequence of photos over a single sitting lasting 32 seconds suggest that there may be four chicks inside. Heads appear and sometimes food is given and other times the adult leans back, out of reach as if to say you have had your turn.


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