I Heard A Woodpecker In Cambridge

I posted this on my wp dot com photography blog on 23rd April when this happened.

It’s sunny today. We live just a few hundred yards from the middle of town and yet there’s a Green – a large area of grass and trees in front of the houses in the Square – which is lovely. 

Given Corona lockdown, I went out to stand in the Green and look at the trees. It’s funny how isolation makes one see things anew, so I spent a bit of time looking at the trees and the houses, noticing things. Then I heard a repeated drumming sound. A woodpecker. In the middle of town. So I went walking towards the sound, and when I got near the trees where I thought it was, I saw a woman with a bicycle and she was looking into one particular tree.

I asked (from a social distance of several metres) whether she could see the bird. Yes, she said, and pointed out where it was. Then it flew to another tree and we agreed it was a spotted woodpecker. It was quite high up but we thought it was a lesser spotted woodpecker.

I said that I wondered whether it was in town because it was quiet or that we heard it because it was quiet. She said she thought the same. I said I had heard it from way over there (pointing from where I had come) and she said she had heard it from way over there, in the footpath that leads into town. We were smiling like crazy, happy at this truly lovely thing that was drumming in the tree.

I have the Golf Sight app on my phone. I use it to calculate distances. It knows where you are standing and you point it wherever and then tap. It said I was 162 yards from where I was standing when I first heard the woodpecker. 

When I walked back I heard the woodpecker over to my right. I could have gone looking, but that was so good that it was enough.