Amourobius ferox

Amourobius ferox
By Peter Byles

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Wildlife puzzle

I've attached a photo of damage which we have very recently noticed on two gateposts at the end of our drive in Llanteg. We have been trying to work out what might have caused this very strange damage to the wood, and wondered if you could help us, or refer us to someone who could do so.
The posts are old and the exposed internal wood is fairly soft and easily be picked or pecked once the harder outer material has been penetrated. Strips of the material removed can be seen at the base of the post, and there is more damage in the lower half of the posts than higher up. Many of the areas gouged out are centred on circular holes in the wood like large wormholes.
Other harder fence posts and rails close by have not been touched. We've not seen any birds or animals near the posts, but they are not visible from our house.
Birds seem the obvious suspect but most damage has been done close to the ground, which might rule out GS Woodpeckers which I see regularly. We have many Rooks and Crows in the fields around the garden. Are Rooks boring in after grubs?   
Best Regards
Andy Webb


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  2. Could be badger but small fresh holes higher up post suggest great spotted woodpecker. They can and often do feed close to the ground. Watched one doing something similar in North Pembs only yesterday as the base of a rotten tree stump along an old walled hedge-bank. It was the only obvious tree on the horizon. The woodpecker was on the ground for some time pecking at the exposed root-plate.