Thursday, 12 April 2012

Somewhere in Hertfordshire

This Spring I have made several attempts to find and photograph Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers. These are now in serious decline and there are probably fewer the 10 pairs in the whole of Hertfordshire, making them very tricky to find. Up to now I have had no luck at all, not even finding any let alone photograph them, but then I had a stroke of luck......a tip-off.

I headed straight down there, positioned myself against some shrubbery to break my profile, and only had to wait a few minutes before I was in business. The female is much drabber than the male with no crimson cap. This duller appearance is quite common amongst female birds and I had always assumed that it was so they were less conspicuous when sitting on a nest. But when a female Lesser Spot is sitting on a nest she is in the middle of a tree trunk!!

The male is far more resplendent in that superb crimson cap and does his fair share of the work in excavating the nest hole.

Due to the scarcity of the species and the sensitivity of the breeding site I have been asked not to reveal the location.

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