This morning I saw a woodpecker on the fatballs. We get a Greater Spotted from time to time, either on the fat or the peanuts. The bird this morning was bigger than a Greater Spotted with a greenish body BUT with a red belly. There was a black cap to its head, no red and the impression of the head feathers was smooth - no crest. No spots that I could see. Nothing on the RSPB site or in the bird books that looked like it. Could it be a cross between Greater Spotted and Green?
The garden is in West Yorkshire - easy flying distance of moors, trees and river.
Does anyone have any ideas please?

Hi Bob,
            Firstly, I very much doubt this is any sort of hybrid. The Green Woodpecker Picus viridis and the Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major belong to different genera, which means there would be strong reproductive isolation between the two species.

The simplest explanation would be that you saw a green woodpecker that has some mutation that has resulted in different plumage. None of the European woodpeckers has the colour combination you describe, and it doesn't look like a juvenile/immature colour combination. Someone else on the site with more knowledge about variations in woodpecker plumage may be able to comment.

You sound familiar with the woodpeckers, but if the light was bad or angle of illumination was unusual then this might also have created the impression of different colours. I often make colour mistakes during  the winter when I am out birding due to variable light.

Sorry not to be more help.

"Hope is a duty from which palaeontologists are exempt."
David Quammen