Friday, 6 March 2015

A lesser spotted bird

Just a very quick post. I was working from home when news of a lesser spotted woodpecker at Stockers Lake came up on Herts Bird Club. As it would be rude not to, I grabbed my bins and hightailed it over to the yacht club.
No other birders were around, which was a bit strange. Lesser spots have gained an almost mythical status as being almost impossible to see. They are small birds, about the size of a sparrow or a bit bigger and once the leaves come on the trees will totally disappear. They are also one of the birds whose population has declined drastically in recent years.
Anyway, I hung about and after 20 minutes or so I heard one call in the trees. They have a very distinctive call, almost like a cross between the yaffle of a green woodpecker and the yicker of a kestrel.Often that is all you get and they never appear. This one however almost immediately flew onto a dead tree about a hundred yards away. Good bins views followed but as I got my camera onto it a parakeet also flew into the tree and flushed it.
Over the next hour I saw it, or another bird as two were seen earlier, on two more occasions and heard it call again. Would be a coup for the Aquadrome if they paired up and nested!!
I also spotted a treecreeper in the woods, which is a first for the year taking me to 147.

I also went back on Saturday morning (07/03) and the birds were still there. Pretty elusive as two hours only got me two views and two calls. Speaking to others on site, including Geogg Lapworth, they've been around for a couple of weeks and range as far as the cafe though the oak tree on the island seems to be their base.