Wood wander

So, I decided to take a short stroll through the forest today despite the cool overcast damp weather. I took my D5200 with its 18mm-105mm lens. ‘But what if I see something interesting … nothing interesting will happen’ …

I am hardly 50m from my flat and a black bird rises from the undergrowth. At first I think it’s a large blackbird or maybe a crow but when I spot the bright red crest I know immediately its a black woodpecker!

It lands on a tree in perfect view and pose, I grab the camera. I fumble to find the back focus button, it’s positioned slightly differently to my normal camera. Damn, it will not focus … I check the camera. I’m pressing the wrong button. I try again but the bird has gone. I fire off a couple more shots anyway.


Perfectly positioned perched on a tree just waiting for me to take a perfect shot. Wrong camera, wrong lens, wrong button. WTF. (2nd of four shots.)

I have only seen these black woodpeckers three or four times in 10 years. They are huge and easy to identify being all black with a bright red crest, but they are rarely on view and this was the first time I had had an opportunity to photograph one.


This was the third shot, which caught it in flight. I was lucky to get it at all as I could no longer see it and assumed it had gone. Luckily I took another two shots on the off chance.


Move along … nothing to see here. I continued to look out for the black woodpecker but had no more luck. Previously I had only ever seen them in pairs, so this single encounter was unique too and maybe another one was hanging around somewhere. So that was it, I had to console myself with wood textures for the rest of my blog post.


There was no shortage of bracket fungi and some are edible, though which ones I could not say. The brown slimy one (below) certainly does not look too appetizing.


Finally this is what happens to a pine tree when it gets in the way of lightening.



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