Sunday, 30 April 2017

A Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at Cassiobury Park

21st April 2017

Last year I went to Cassiobury Park to photograph the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker that had been showing well by the car park. I did indeed photograph the pecker, but in my enthusiasm dropped my baseball cap on the ground. Now this was no ordinary baseball cap, but one that I had bought at the Boggy Creek Airboat Rides in Florida in the year 2000, so of sentimental value. Luckily fellow birder Ian Bennell managed to locate it and has been looking after it ever since.

So now, a year on, it is time to return to Cassiobury Park to try and photograph the Lesser Spot again, to collect my cap and, although I have been conversing with Ian on Twittter for 5 years or more, to meet him for the very first time. We did of course have to agree a code so that we would recognise each other in the vast car park, so Ian carried a baseball cap and I carried a camera. That seemed to work.

After meeting Ian for the first time and the ceremonial handing over the cap it was time to turn my attentions to the pecker. Unlike last year, when it would go on a circuit of the park and disappear for a couple of hours, it was staying in the mature trees by the car park. Luckily, it kept on returning to one of two drumming posts, so it was possible to get some reasonable photos despite the dull day.

So what a succesful day!!. Managed to photograph the pecker, met Ian Bennell at last and retrieved my long-lost cap. Thanks Ian.


  1. I visited in the afternoon, by which time the carpark and park were very busy. I enjoyed a lovely walk around the nature reserve, but no lesser peckers for me (or other afternoon birders)

  2. I suspect morning is best Charlie.