LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER
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.