Thursday, 18 August 2022

18th August 2022 Unst SE5 Clear

A walk around Norwick produced a surprise when I heard the familiar call of a Great Spotted Woodpecker. Locating it took a minute or two as it was calling from out of sight being exactly the other side of a telegraph pole! However, it eventually showed well before flying off towards Valyie. I quickly relocated it there, where it was appearing to feed on the spruce seeds before taking flight again, gaining height and flying west until out of sight, calling as it went. Otherwise there was a Knot on the beach and 2 Willow Warblers.

Juvenile male Northern Great Spotted Woodpecker at Norwick
The first that I've seen on Unst! Birds of Shetland states 'all those seen well enough in the field have had whitish underparts typical of the nominate form from northern Europe and Siberia, and virtually all birds examined in the hand have had measurements typical of this form, which may erupt from its breeding areas in response to variations in food supply, particularly the seeds of pine and spruce'. A recording of it calling here.