LESSER SPOT­TED WOOD­PECKER

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your Birding Month -

Our tini­est wood­pecker is now scarce and lo­calised, with fewer than 2,000 pairs scat­tered across Eng­land and Wales (not Scot­land or Ire­land). They are only spar­row-sized, with a tiny bill (for a wood­pecker), and lack any red on the belly, so are not hard to iden­tify. They can, how­ever, be hard to see, as they are so small and spend a lot of time among the smaller twigs at the top of trees. So, when trees are fully cov­ered in leaves, they can seem to van­ish. Now is the time to search for them: there are few leaves and the birds will be drum­ming and call­ing in courtship and stak­ing ter­ri­to­ries. Lis­ten for the even and pro­longed rat­tling drum and the Kestrel-like ‘kee kee kee kee’ call, which has been com­pared to a high-pitched Green Wood­pecker call, at least in its ca­dence.

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