Green woodpeckers at Monsal Head
In July, we went to Monsal Head in the evening. We went there with the hope of seeing tawny owls, but unfortunately we didn’t see any. There was a really steep woodland walk and a small waterfall. There was at least three dippers bobbing on the rocks, and one young one. Dippers are blackbird-like birds with white throats. They are our only bird that can run along the bottom of a stream of river, and the only bird to have solid bones. We went out of the woodland and walked along the side of the river. A female mandarin scuttled along right in front of us, followed by a load of chicks! The chicks were black, and all following their mother. A coot was swimming along and its chick was on the bank side cheeping to it. We walked up a hill so we could walk across the viaduct. A chimney-sweeper moth fluttered in the grass. Mummy said that they were a lot more uncommon than when she was a child, and it was a new species of moth for me. We walked across the viaduct and mummy heard something calling in the bush. I thought it was a blackbird’s alarm call, and mummy thought it was a young bird of prey. When we saw it flies, we realised it was a young green woodpecker! These woodpeckers have a call that sounds very much like a laugh. Then, two more followed it. These were my first green woodpeckers. We walked back along the viaduct to see if we could see them again, and we ended up seeing a pair of blackcaps bringing their young out of the nest.