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Woodpecker, Ground

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Thu Sep 07, 2006 1:13 pm Unread post
Ground woodpecker (Geocolaptes olivaceus)

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As far as SANParks are concerned I've only seen this bird in Mountain Zebra National Park thus far.

Other names:
Afrikaans: Grondspeg
German: Erdspecht
French: Pic laboureur
Dutch: Kaapse grondspecht

Habits
The Ground Woodpecker is one of only three ground-dwelling woodpeckers in the world. It inhabits rather barren, steep boulder strewn slopes in relatively cool hilly and mountainous areas of South Africa, and has not yet been recorded outside of Southern Africa. It is our largest woodpecker reaching up to 30cm in length. It is usually found in pairs or small groups and in summer is best located by its loud, raucous call. Birds sit erect on large boulders or flying close to the ground from one rock to the next. Hops when on the ground.

Food
Insects and larvae, including ants, obtained on the ground
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Mon Jun 18, 2007 9:13 am Unread post
Some photos I took this weekend. Not in a SANPark though.

Really put in some effort to get close. Located the birds at a spot I normally see them, half way up a mountain slope. Circled to their left and approached from the top so that I can have the sun from my back. Sat down a far way off just watching them while the watch me. Had some coffee and the slowly made my way closer by sliding on my backside with out getting up. As I see them getting uneasy I stopped and waited a while. From the time I got into the first position until the last photo was taken took ±1hour. I came to within 6 meters

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Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:39 pm Unread post
Ive seen them in vaious places in the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfontier Park, which now includes the Qwa-Qwa National Park into Golden Gate National Park and the uKhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Site.



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Tue Jun 19, 2007 8:13 am Unread post
You do not have to go to Cape Town to get up close to GWP! I have a dependable site (haven't dipped on GWP there yet :lol: ) near Wakkerstroom at the Zaaihoek Dam below the dam wall.

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Mon Jun 25, 2007 8:09 pm Unread post
Saw them from the lookout point on the Klipspringer drive at Karoo NP (dipped on the cinnamon-breasted warbler though!!).


Re: Woodpecker: Ground

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Sun Oct 19, 2008 9:07 pm Unread post
Golden Gate - Oct 2008

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And yes, camera was full of dust spots :redface:


Re: Woodpecker: Ground

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Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:28 pm Unread post
Golden Gate - seen on 4 consecutive days in different locations. So a sure tick for the park.

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Re: Woodpecker: Ground

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Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:33 am Unread post
Basotho Cultural Village, Golden Gate Highlands NP

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Re: Woodpecker: Ground

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Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:15 am Unread post
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Re: Woodpecker: Ground

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Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:35 am Unread post
Anyone know where to look for them in Bontebok NP?


Re: Woodpecker, Ground

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Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:10 am Unread post
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Re: Woodpecker, Ground

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Fri Oct 03, 2014 4:11 pm Unread post
A very special sighting Naomi c! Beautiful! :clap: :clap:
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