It is always a joy to see woodpeckers in the garden -- except Greater spotted ones breaking into nest boxes. Mine are now lined with clay roof tiles to save great tit fledglings!
Perhaps there were ants in the apple. I went to check and found none; only fruit flies.
The woodpecker returned within minutes of my disturbing it and continued to eat the apple.
There are a few yellow ant hills in the garden, left just for green woodpeckers but this fine bird preferred fermenting Egremont Russet apples this morning. Some days ago hornets appeared to get drunk and incapable feasting on apples in the tree.
UPDATE: twenty minutes later.
Enough of apples... ants really are preferred it seems. And there are plenty of those in my wild flower lawn.