Ah, another black-and-white woodpecker, so surely another Dendrocopos. Well, not necessarily. The first thing to note is that there is no red on this bird (including the undertail). There are only two black-and-white European woodpeckers which lack red: the female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and the Three-toed Woodpecker (genus Picoides). The shoulders and back are largely black (lacking white barring) apart from an obvious white puffy centre to the back and some fine markings on the wings. The dark ear coverts (‘cheeks’) confirm that this is a Three-toed Woodpecker, and the white back means it is a northern bird.
KEY FEATURES Largely black upperparts Uniquely dark cheeks and ‘stripy’ face No red in plumage White back points to northern subspecies tridactylus