A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Thursday, 4 May 2017

Hooptedoodle #258 - Woody's Breakfast



Thursday, 4th May 2017 - beautiful morning in South East Scotland - a young male Greater Spotted Woodpecker (dendrocopos major), immaculate in his new Spring outfit, enjoying his breakfast at 6am. I realise that I put lots of pictures like this on here, but I thought the Contesse caught this little chap rather nicely.


Woody knows nothing about UK council elections, or Brexit, or Trump - he just knows he likes peanuts.

Good morning, Woody!

16 comments:

  1. Beautiful plumage. Not a hint of blue ;-)

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  2. Replies
    1. I'm rather fond of peanuts myself, to tell the truth. Yes - on the whole, I think I prefer eating peanuts to shouting at the radio news in the morning.

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    1. The thing is...

      By next week the papers will have changed their minds about a lot of things, and will be urging us all to do the same. Next week, Woody will still like peanuts. Some things are worthy of trust.

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  4. I saw one of these wonderful creatures last month feeding in my garden. I had never seen one before, he was beautiful.[In a manly sort of way]

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    1. Fantastic birds - very shy. My favourite of the birds we get here, I think - I also love the nuthatch and the goldfinches, but this guy has something about him.

      Most spectacular garden birds I ever saw in the UK were in my mother's old garden in South Liverpool - she also used to get Green Woodpeckers and Jays. Very fancy! - too cold for them here, I think.

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    2. Him - and his green cousin - are my favourite "spottings" on the cycle to work which goes through an oak wood for part of the way.. Puts it all in perspective really doesn't it... how we so easily get sidetracked and perturbed by things that really aren't that important... pass the cashews when you're done please... :o)

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    3. That's exactly why I'm so fond of walking (some say rambling...) and cycling - it all seems much more real than some invisible wrangle over crooked inter-bank rates or arguments in the S*n about which bunch of dirty foreigners we hate most this morning.

      I'm sure that's also why you go sailing.

      Even my silly toy soldiers have more gravitas than the silly would-be rich celebs who run our beloved nation. Is it possible to take night classes to become a hermit?

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  5. Brilliant! I was sitting in a queue of traffic on the way to work the other morning when I caught sight of a tree creeper shinning up an old birch by the roadside, without a thought for all the daft humans a few feet away and all their pointless concerns. Can I vote for him?

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    1. The wonders of Nature are somehow encapsulated in the Tree Creeper - we occasionally get one of these. It seems bizarre that we have a bird who walks to the tops of trees then has to fly down (Tree Creeper) and another bird, in the same local ecology, who has to fly to the top of a tree so he can walk down (Nuthatch). Seems very like an official demarkation of duties to me.

      I'm also fascinated that certain small finches (especially the Goldfinch) have markings on their backs which look exactly like rows of buttons. Why? It seems unlikely that evolution would cause birds to look like 18th Century soldiers - is it possible that the soldiers somehow copied the birds? I am so intrigued by this that it may be the subject of another ramble (sorry - discursive post) in the near future. I need to do a little more research to be sure I have something to say. Anyone who just thought this doesn't seem to bother me normally can give themselves a good slap on the wrist.

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  6. Replies
    1. Woody says hi. He also says the fat-balls are pretty good too, but the mean beggars who provide the garden for him take them off the menu when the Spring comes.

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  7. Professor De Vries emailed to ask am I a fully-fledged (?) "twitcher" - do I go on special birdwatching holidays and all that? (He also asked me do I eat worms, but I shall ignore that). Well no - I stop some distance short of that level of devotion. If I ever find myself hiding in conditions of extreme discomfort (not to say environmental hazard) to catch a fleeting glimpse of something rare, then my relaxing hobby will have become just another source of stress. Not, of course, that I wish to imply any criticism of those who spend their spare time in this way, though sometimes, in their enthusiasm, they can become a nuisance and a threat to the very thing they are seeking.

    My favourite (discursive) twitcher tale involves my father - an unusual man, I think, but no matter. He was on holiday in (I think) the Isle of Gigha, and went for a long walk on his own one evening. He reached a little inlet of the sea, and there were many hundreds of very exotic looking geese walking about on the sandhills. He watched them for a while and then, because there was no-one around, he clapped his hands to see what would happen. What happened is that the mass of geese all took off, noisily and spectacularly, and flew away, after which maybe 20 or 30 very angry people in strange hats and camo clothing, armed with all sorts of binoculars and telefoto lenses, rose out of the undergrowth and began to shout at him. As I recall, he flew away.

    The geese were their own. My dad and the twitchers probably deserved each other. Ramble over.

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  8. How lovely. We had a pileated woodpecker drop by a few weeks back. I had never seen one in the backyard before, and he settled on a dead spruce tree and cut large chunks out of it. For a moment I wasn't sure what he was, because he was so large - I thought it was a large squirrel or a crow until I saw the head and realized it was a woody.

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