Thanks to all of you that have commented about seeing (and hearing) a Great Spotted Woodpecker along the river between the road bridge and Firhall Bridge lately.
These are great birds to see in action. Their flight is a heavy deep undulating bounding motion as they fly from tree to tree. They are normally quite easy to see, but are very sensitive and will flit on the slightest movement around them.
If you are lucky you will get a chance to photograph them on your feeder or posts - but as I said, they will fly off at the slightest sign of movement (usually).
I took this picture in spring last year, and the pictures below it in the autumn, all at Tollie, by Dingwall. (This is a great RSPB site to see Red Kites feeding - and GS Woodpeckers!)
When you're out walking listen for the short bursts of drumming made by the GS Woodpecker. (The Lesser Spotted version has a much longer drumming - but it won't be seen in the Highlands). We are lucky enough to see the odd Green Woodpecker around here - this is often a ground feeder, finding grub in the grass, and they are usually seen in pairs. The sound this one makes is a call like a cackling laugh in the distance!
Good luck - and please let me know when you see any of the woodpeckers.