LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER
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.