Monday 3 January 2011

The woodpeckers of my village

I arrived back in Benghazi this afternoon following my stay over Christmas and the New Year in Bulgaria. It's green and mild here. It must have rained a lot while I was away. I am looking forward to birding back in Libya this weekend. I expect more water birds than ever and perhaps a few more refugees from the European freeze.

I have got a couple of blogs on Libya lined up even before I go birding again but before then I want to share with you some birding I did in my village in Bulgaria. The next three blogs will be about my daily walks on three days to a friend's house in the my village. So all the birds I am blogging about are within 500 metres of my Bulgarian house. Let me assure you there were plenty!

greater spotted woodpecker, village north of Varna

The first woodpecker I heard pecking away was a greater spotted woodpecker. This is the same species as I saw on a previous (and longer) walk from village to the next one (and which I have already blogged about).

woodland within my village on a frosty day

Greater spotted woodpecker is not usually a bird found within settlements except if there are large parks or very big gardens so it just shows how open and rural my village is.

Syrian woodpecker, village north of Varna

Only 20 metres from the greater spotted woodpecker I heard, then saw a Syrian woodpecker. It was only after a couple of minutes watching it that I realised it was not the same species.

This bird is a bird of settlements - it likes gardens of all sizes and orchards.

I feel privileged to see both so close together. Over the next two days walks I also realised just how high the density of woodpeckers in my village is.

At the moment they are very easy to see without leaves on the trees. Both species is not shy at the moment either. They both seem to be pre-occupied with findingh grubs and eating. 

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