I had my trail cam set up in the back garden again this morning, but although both of the male Great Spotted Woodpeckers came down to the usual trunk, there were no sign of any females.
The first to come down was the leg ringed male. He appears to be a bit braver than the other male, and I've noticed he sticks around a bit longer...
The un-ringed male (below) is a little more nervous and often visits for shorter periods of time.
After observing them for some time over the weekend, it's odd to say that at this time of year, when you expect males to be chasing each other off potential territories (as I have already seen happening at the feeding stations at Maple Lodge NR last week), these two are quite content to share the same trunk, although not at the same time.
Not only that but they are using the trunk identically. IE: the GSW lands on the trunk, looks around, moves around to take a nut from the nearby hanging feeder, moves back and places the nut in the bark crevice and eats the nut once it is lodged in there.
This behaviour has been going on for the last three years on the same trunk, but normally at this time of year the males are chasing each other off the garden territory.
So are these two related ?
Is one of them the offspring of the other from last year ?
Or are they brothers ?
I know from my previous hours spent in my portable hide in 2014 and 2015 (before I got my trail cam) that the most frequent GSW visitor was a ringed male. But this year there must be a local ringer as in the past few weeks, in the same garden, we've had a ringed Goldcrest, ringed Robin, several ringed Blue Tits, a ringed Dunnock and a ringed Starling. So there's no saying for sure that the ringed GSW I'm seeing now is the same one as last year. There was also a fairly dominant male GSW with a deformed mandible in 2014 but he wasn't seen after that year.
As per yesterday I cannot upload the trail cam video clips to my blog post, and have had to resort again to putting them on my Wino Wendy's Wildlife World facebook page. Not ideal, sorry, but it will have to do until I can figure out a way of uploading the clips so no one has to venture off page.