Bird Watching (UK) - - December Id Challenge -

Wood­peck­ers pro­vide a sur­pris­ing amount of chal­lenge to Bri­tish birdwatchers when it comes to iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. But we only have three res­i­dent species of wood­pecker in this coun­try and they are all rad­i­cally dif­fer­ent from each other. Firstly, re­mem­ber that there are only two com­mon wood­peck­ers: Lesser Spot­ted is scarce. Green Wood­peck­ers are eas­ily the largest, as big as a Mis­tle Thrush; grass green with a yel­low rump, and spend much of their time feed­ing on the ground, par­tic­u­larly on grass (prob­ing for ants). Great Spot­ted Wood­peck­ers are about Star­ling sized and the only com­mon black-and-white wood­pecker. They have ob­vi­ous white shoul­der patches and are the only UK wood­pecker with red on the un­der­parts. Lesser Spot­teds are tiny (spar­row-sized) and spend a lot of time in tiny twigs at the top of trees. They are barred white on the back and have no red on the un­der­parts. If in doubt, a black-and-white wood­pecker is a Great Spot­ted Wood­pecker. See? Easy!

Lesser Spot­ted Wood­pecker

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