Of Woodpeckers & Space Shuttles

Well apart from all the routine daily things, we’ve had an interesting day of observations. Just after lunchtime I was looking out of the window whilst drinking my tea. We have a little bird feeding area set-up just outside and I was watching a Greater Spotted Woodpecker come for food. It occurred to me that he was carrying food away rather than simply eating it, so I called the family round and we used binoculars to follow his flight up into a large Ash tree. Towards the top of the tree was a juvenile woodpecker; we then spent a few interesting minutes watching the adult male ferry food back & too to the juvenile, passing the food from beak to beak. Curiously we never spotted the female. The juvenile wasn’t in a good spot to take a photograph, but here’s the male:

We see him quite regularly and the female a little less often (she seems shier).

And for the second part of our observations we went out this evening to watch the ISS fly over us from West to East, but the great thing about this evening’s view was that 14 minutes behind it was Space Shuttle Mission STS-117. We had a very good view (its in orbit 130miles up but very bright in the evening sky). We then rushed in side (escaping the midges) to listen to NASA radio & what the shuttle astronauts were doing. Apparently they were checking the docking systems ready for docking with the ISS tomorrow.

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