Column: The unmistakable sound of the woodpecker drumming

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On one of my regular trips to Pollok park last week, I heard the unmistakable sound of a woodpecker drumming against a tree, the sound reverberating around the park. 
It is an amazing ability that the woodpecker has, to make such a loud, rapid noise that can be heard up to half a mile away.

You are most likely to hear it at this time of year when the birds are establishing their territories. They do not have a song, so their way of letting other woodpeckers know they are there is to drum.

I knew there was no chance I would see the bird – it is easy to hide in dense woodland, but I am pretty sure that it would have been a great spotted woodpecker.

The UK has three types of woodpecker – the green, lesser spotted and great spotted – but only the last two are resident in Scotland. The one you are most likely to see in the Glasgow area is the great spotted woodpecker and I was once lucky enough to see one, in the back lane behind Herries road.

Although not much bigger than a starling, they are truly striking birds of black, white and red. A real treat to see.

Their numbers have doubled in the last 40 years, so the chances are I will see one again at some point.

Now that the vernal equinox is past, spring is properly here, so it is time to get to work in the garden.

This is what I intended to do on Saturday afternoon, but it started to rain just as I planned to don the wellies; soon the lawn was too wet to mow.

However, it is now Tuesday and it has been dry for a couple of days so hopefully the grass will be dry enough in a day or two for its first haircut of the year.

Nothing spruces up a garden like mowing the lawn, even though my lawn mower is a terrible old thing that will struggle to deal with the length of the lawn.

It will be a frustrating work out for me, but things will look better once it’s done.