CONCENTRATE ON FACE PATTERN
Some of Europe’s woodpeckers are very distinctive (most notably the crow-sized Black Woodpecker). However, particularly among the pied Dendrocopos species, there are several essentially similar species. If you can concentrate on one part of the bird for identification purposes, let it be the area of the head and face. For instance, a main difference between the quite similar Syrian and Great Spotted Woodpecker (in all plumages), is the black line near the back of the neck, which joins the nape line with the moustachial stripe on Great Spotted, but is broken on Syrian Woodpecker. Similarly, the open, pale face and small bill of the redcrowned Middle Spotted Woodpecker distinguish it from the red-crowned juveniles (or indeed adults) of related species.
If you can concentrate on one part of the bird for identification purposes, let it be the area of the head and face