Cemeteries can offer some good opportunities for photography as they often provide a large oasis of green space within an urban setting in a similar way to parkland. They are relatively quiet and undisturbed places for the majority of the time and a steady trickle of visitors allows the wildlife (with the exception of green woodpeckers!) to become accustomed to the presence of people. Before you all rush out to your local graveyard with your camera, please consider the purpose and emotional sensitivity of the place. I have two basic rules which are visit at first and last light, which is best for the wildlife and light quality and when there are very few if any people present, and head to the quieter areas. I would urge you never to photograph around people visiting the graves of their lost relatives as this disrespectful and they should be given a wide berth.
Anyway on to some green woodpecker photographs which after all is the purpose of the post. After several short sessions with the male bird I had got a good understanding of his behavioural routine during the evening which was allowing me to firstly find him and encouragingly to get photographs on each session. Some sessions were more successful than others but I knew by repeatedly visits I could built up a collection of images.
Green woodpeckers spend a large amount of time digging to find their main prey ants. A couple in action in the following photographs.
By the end of July the birds became less predictable and patterns started to change until they both disappeared and the window of opportunity had closed. The male presumably went in to moult and the young bird will have dispersed to find itself a territory. Hopefully they will be back in the 'Green Oasis' next year to provide some more memorable summer evenings with the camera.