Great spotted woodpecker – Dendrocopos major

Pleased to see this great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) clinging to a vertical branch at the top of a tall-ish ash tree in the local woodland (on 6th February 2017), as is their wont. Usually, they’ll manoeuvre themselves to the farside of a tree trunk and you’ll only really know they are there if they’re pecking, but this bird presumably hadn’t seen or heard me coming. The first part of their scientific binomial is a portmanteau of the Greek words dendron, tree and kopos striking, obvious really, tree striker. The major is from the Latin maior, meaning greater, obvs.

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