Sunday, 13 March 2011

Turns out they do exist.......

Yesterday saw me going to Nottinghamshire with a few local lads, 3 of us had never seen our target species before and the other lad had only seen his first 6 days previous. We arrived at our destination of Rufford Abbey Country Park at around 7.15. On getting out the car I picked up a distant Green Woodpecker but it appeared to move closer so we went off for a look. A short walk along a path and a bird flew from a tree in a field in front of us and into he deeper cover of the wood. This was a year tick for me and I always like to see woodpeckers, a real problem if you believe in bird evolution by the way.

After seeing the Green Woodpecker we moved on deeper into the wood to look for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, nearly straight away the Lesser Pecker's diagnostic tell tale drumming could be heard but the bird flew past us and I missed it! Very frustrating, another 20 minutes or so of searching was fruitless. But I decided I would move a bit deeper into the wooded area incase birds had moved to avoid us, sure enough I picked up a small all black bird lying up into a tree. A few nervous seconds and looking and I picked the bird up on a tree and then it flew onto a tree where the top had fallen off exposing the top. I had superb views of my first ever Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. It was a female, whilst watching we noticed it displayed. It spread its wings as if going to take off, strange and a way I didn't know Lesser Peckers displayed. The bird flew off after about a minute, it was at this point when another bird took off with it and they both flew off. Smiles all around! We walked back to the car as we were all hungry, we had a snack and then walked off in a different direction to have another look for the Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers. We went to an area where it appeared the birds went to, one of the lads said one was really close on a silver birch tree trunk. He wasn't wrong as the bird showed itself, as well as a female bird higher up in the trees which also showed well. At one  point we weren't sure whether to watch the male or female bird. I opted mainly for the male and wasn't disappointed. After these superb views and some seed was got from the car I proceeded to feed the locals, clearly a poverty stricken area. Only kidding, by locals I mean the local birds. We had all the expected woodland species such as Jay, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Willow Tit (only kidding Steve, it was Marsh Tit) and a few other fairly common species such as Song Thrush, Great Tit, and such like. As the many local dog walkers and folk descended upon the park like a plague we left.

Special thanks to Steve Dunn for his info regarding Lesser Peckers. Cheers mate!

(Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - © Adam Williams)

(Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - © Adam Williams)

(Jay - © Adam Williams)

(Nuthatch - © Adam Williams)

Our final stop was Idle Valley NR where I had possible flyover Yellow-legged Gull as well as 5 Red-crested Pochards, 3 of which were males. Also had my first singing Chiffchaffs of the year, my earliest ever I believe.
(Red-crested Pochards - © Adam Williams)

I managed a half decent video:

All in all a cracking day with 4 year ticks and 1 British/Life tick.

Until next time, Foghorn out!


  1. Those cuddly woodpeckers you bought from the Saltholme RSPB shoplook almost likelike stuck on the tree ;)

  2. Get it right Tilmouth I got them from Loch of the Lowe. doh!!!! ;)

  3. "likelike" watching too much Japanese TV this weekend obviously.

  4. You have a nice blog! I would love to follow up:) I like the nuthatch portrait!

    Kah Wai

  5. Great read Andrew..... Least you got rid of your bogey bird (Cracking little birds).

  6. Well done on the Lesser Peckers mate, lovely birds and congratulations on a successful trip!

    All the Best,


  7. "I always like to see woodpeckers, a real problem if you believe in bird evolution by the way"