It’s that great spotted time of year

May be it’s a little early this year.  Second half of May and we already have a nest of great spotted woodpeckers making a lot of sound and the parents frantically feed them.  Usually, I think his has been more of a June time event so its about two weeks early.  Also, I’ve only seen the female at the nest here, even while doing preliminary surveys from a long distance.  Nevertheless, the female looks to be doing a very good job raising the brood.  It won’t be long now before this group fledges.  I suspect it will be within the week. 

This nest is on a quite battered oak from where I posted some photos in 2020 right after lockdown 1.  In the intervening two years the original hole has rotted away with the top part of the trunk.  Consequently this nest is a little lower and easier to photograph.  

Gear:  Nikon D500 with 500mm PF lens at f/5.6, about 1/800 was all I could squeeze and ISO 800.  Have to say 1/1600 shutter speed on an f/4 lens would have been preferable but that’s not available!  All shot on a tripod.  This isn’t really hand holding territory when shooting upward into trees.