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Wednesday, 1st May 2002, West Yorkshire

great spotted woodpeckerShower and sun alternate all day as I work in the garden so that I feel like one of those figures in a weather house, constantly popping in and out and not getting as far as I'd have liked with my tasks.

Before breakfast a great spotted woodpecker pauses for a moment in next door's tree on its way from the wood to a neighbour's bird table. My sketch shows a juvenille; the adult, which I saw, doesn't have a red cap. In fact in my brief view of it I didn't notice any red at all on its head so this was probably the male; the female has a patch of red on the back of her head.

rainbowearwig Although I'm outdoors on and off for so much of the day I concentrate on the task in hand so much that the only wildlife that registers with me is an earwig sheltering beneath some wood I'm clearing. I don't come across them regularly so I get the impression that they're nowhere near as common as, say, ladybirds but of course they do hide away during the day and come out to scavenge at night.

As compensation for the mixed weather of the day there's a bright rainbow in the late page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

E-mail; ''