Thursday, 5 April 2018

March 24th Wicklow Woodpecker Walk

On Saturday March 24th the Dublin Branch met at the bridge at Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow, bright and early at 8am to go on a woodland walk. What brought us out at such an ungodly hour was the chance to  hear one of Ireland's newest arrivals, the Greater Spotted Woodpecker drumming, and perhaps even to see one. The walk was led by author Declan Murphy, whose recent book 'A Life in the Trees - a personal account of the Great Spotted Woodpecker in County Wicklow' has been praised by many.

Our efforts were successful, as we did indeed hear the woodpeckers drumming. Woodpeckers are small birds and difficult to see high up on the trees, but we saw some fluttering in the trees that was probably them. The woodpecker is an extraordinary bird, with muscles in its head extending all the way down its back. This allows it to peck at the wood with its beak without getting the mother of all headaches! All in all the group was satisfied with its encounter with this amazing bird. Photos courtesy of Brendan (except for the woodpecker picture, which is Wikimedia commons).

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