Page:Bird Life Throughout the Year (Salter, 1913).djvu/185

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it may hew a way to the kernel. We notice that, with each sounding blow, the nuthatch moves its whole body like a hammer swinging on a pivot, and not its head merely as the woodpecker does.

Besides the "yaffle," to give the Green Woodpecker its West Country name, the Pied Woodpecker may be seen passing with dipping flight from tree to tree. Alighting at the foot of an oak, it rapidly works its way up, climbing by a series of jerks, assisted by the support given by the stiff feathers of the tail.

Meanwhile the smaller Barred Woodpecker moves restlessly about amongst the tree-tops, and the little Tree Creeper, a woodpecker in miniature, creeps spirally upwards over trunk and branches. Oaks hold out another attraction to small birds, for they abound in nest-holes. These, when dry, well situated and of the right dimensions, are never untenanted,—in fact the competition for them is keen, tenancies are short and evictions frequent. In one case, the same hole was occupied successively by nuthatches, wrynecks, starlings and two species of tit. Another, no doubt in bird view, "an attractive flat with all modern conveniences," was the home in successive seasons of great-tits, starlings, robins and tree creepers.

Ancient oaks are often hollow as chimneys and are then the favourite resort of Jackdaws, which carry in quantities of sticks and drop them until they at