LESSER SPOT­TED WOOD­PECKER

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your Birding Month -

Wood­peck­ers can start get­ting ter­ri­to­rial from De­cem­ber on­wards and a sunny Jan­uary morn­ing can be a good time to lis­ten and look for Lesser Spot­ted Wood­peck­ers. The drum is longer and more even than the louder re­port of Great Spot­ted Wood­pecker and the call is a ‘kee kee kee kee’ like a high-pitched Green Wood­pecker or a Kestrel. LSWS are scarce these days and re­stricted to cer­tain wood­lands in Eng­land and Wales (ab­sent from Scot­land and Ire­land). Though not par­tic­u­larly shy (for a wood­pecker), they can be very tricky to see and it helps that there are no leaves on the trees at this time of the year. They are of­ten to be seen high up in trees on the thinnest twigs. They are no­tably tiny, much smaller than Great Spot­ted Wood­peck­ers, be­ing only about spar­row-sized. Only the male has red on the crown; oth­er­wise there is no red else­where on the body.

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