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Gary Martin | all galleries >> British birds > Great spotted woodpecker
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Great spotted woodpecker

Great spotted woodpecker

Dendrocopos major
About blackbird-sized and striking black-and-white. It has a very distinctive bouncing flight and spends most of its time clinging to tree trunks and branches, often trying to hide on the side away from the observer. Its presence is often announced by its loud call or by its distinctive spring 'drumming' display. The male has a distinctive red patch on the back of the head and young birds have a red crown. (Info from

Canon EOS 1D
1/640s f/9.0 at 400.0mm iso250 full exif

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Guest 06-Nov-2016 11:03
Have one of these in our garden loves sunflower hearts!
Guest 30-Mar-2014 12:28
I often have a great spotted woodpecker in my garden in Cheshire. Very beautiful birds
Guest 27-Nov-2012 16:46
Hi there i'm new to English birds previously from SA. Back home had a salt swimming pool in the garden and the kingfishers used to come daily for a drink and a splash that was fab. Lived near the river and daily saw the fish eagle and it's mate circle around in the sky miss that a lot and what a call they had.
We have a new house and medium garden. From our kitchen and dinning table we can watch all the winter birds eating from the fat balls. I have been very delighted with this and saw a bird never seen before. Thought it belonged to a sea bird family with big beak but looked it up here and pleased to learn about what it was. Woodpecker the spotted type i am getting hooked on watching the birds we also spotted robins, finches and black birds. We have a wooden fence and a large tree on the other side of the fence and live 5min from the sea. Tomorrow hope to see some more birds!!
Irene Burns 03-Jul-2012 10:44
Hi Gary, in the 40 years I've been feeding the birds from my home, this is the first time I've had woodpeckers visit. I've also now got blackbirds(male, female, and fledgelings). Greenfinchs and some I've yet to find on you site. Don't know what I'm doing different but I hope I can keep doing it. Grandsons love to feed them, then watch them.
Even the magpies stay around longer.
Guest 25-Mar-2012 11:48
We have two of these great spotted woodpeckers visiting our garden sometimes both at the same time one on the nut feeder and one hanging from a seed fat ball,when they leave they tend to climb up the trunk of the tree and then fly, rather than fly from the feeder and other birds avoid the feeder when they are on them (probably wise with that sharp beak)
Leila 07-Mar-2012 16:54
Yes me again, I'm just posting comments on all the birds I have seen in my garden. Well we had just woke up and to our amazement saw this little chappy knocking away on the tree infrint of our bedroom window. Didn't believe my husband when he told me,look there a wood pecker. This amazing bird came to visit again this morning having a right feast of the coconut feeder. What an amazing bird, my favourite so far.
Alison 09-Nov-2011 12:18
Had a fleeting visit from a woodpecker on 30th October, it came back again this morning & spent quite a while on the bird feeder.
hazel b brown 27-Apr-2008 11:08
i have woodpeckers in my garden and they have stripped the bark of my
apple tree. Two of them came in the garden the other day and had quite a
fight. They are beautiful birds, and despite stripping my tree i'm very
excited to have them in my garden.