top of page

Great-spotted woodpecker

There are two good times to photograph Great-spotted woodpecker at the nest. Firstly when the young have just hatched and both parents are going right inside the hole to feed them. As the parents come out they launch themselves from the hole into the air and there is the chance to do them in flight. I have done Lesser-spotted woodpecker like this and have since been looking for the opportunity to do Great-spotted the same. I must have found twenty GSW nests this year and the first one was very suitable as it was out in the open and got well lit. It was a bit high and would need all my scaffold tower to reach it. That was my mistake as I found it while they were still on eggs and should have moved the scaffold tower straight in to position during March, which was a warm, dry and sunny month . Instead I left it and by the time they hatched the ground was so wet from the April rain that I could not get my car and trailer into the wood for mud. It was too far to carry the scaffold.

Maybe they will use the site next year and I will get another chance.

The second time to photograph them is when the chicks are ready to leave the nest and are leaning well out of the hole. I found another site that did not need a scaffold tower as the nest was on a steep slope and I could sit at the top in my hide and be level with the nest. The light was not so good here so shutter speeds were slow and it took a few thousand exposures to get the chicks head sharp as they move very quickly. This shot was taken at 6400 iso with Topaz Labs noise reduction filter applied in Photoshop. Amazing what you can do at high iso settings now.

Canon EOS 1v Mk4, 800mm lens. 1/200th at f8. ISO 6400. Topaz Labs noise reduction applied.

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page