I’ve spent the last week putting the garden to bed for the winter. I’ve swept up all the leaves, cleared paths of weeds, cut dead branches out of trees etc. A smile of satisfaction – job done… and then along comes a bird and starts opencast mining for ant eggs.
I’ve watched him (he must be a ‘He’ because only a male of the species could make this much mess) for the last two mornings, digging furiously with his beak. So far down that at times his entire head almost disappears below ground. And he’s none too tidy – the spoil from his excavations is scattered across the path in all directions. And not content with one excavation site, by the time I got round to catching him on camera through the kitchen window he had moved on to his fourth site.
We are lucky having a garden that backs onto open country, and Green Woodpeckers regularly frequent our garden. They live primarily on ants and ant eggs that they drill down for in the soil and extract with their long tongues,
They also eat other insects found in and under tree bark.
They are very wary and nervous birds, frequently pausing to scan the sky and taking flight with a characteristic noisy yak-yak-yak call.
These last three images were all taken in the summer in our garden with a 500mm Mirror Lens. If you are not familiar with Mirror Lenses then do take a look at my Post (click Here) specifically about them and their capabilities. Technical information on Mirror Lenses is at the foot of that Post.