Thursday, 19 March 2015

Lessers and Littles

I can see the headlines now; "Hospital beds full as Axe Birding blog readers all injure themselves falling off their chairs due to shock of new blog posts on four consecutive days - the first time in years!".  Simple reason is because I've had the week off work, I've got a bit more time to put finger to keypad - oh and I've actually seen some birds!

This morning I spent a few hours off patch, which was nice as I saw these...



I was there about two and a half hours, and in that time had about eight sightings of at least three of these beautiful Lesser-spotted Woodpeckers.  I saw three birds on two separate occasions (may have even been four on the second time), with two birds on one occasions and several sightings of single birds.  

They really are amazing birds that have an incredible ability of just melting into the canopy. To me it looked like a settled pair, with a second 'outsider' male.  Both times the second male flew in, all three birds went berserk, flying around all over the place, wing flicking, calling, etc. But as soon as the second male flew off, the pair just disappeared into nothing but bare branches!  I've also never really realised how quiet their drumming is, the first time I heard it this morning I thought I had a lot of walking to do as it sounded a long way off, but the bird drumming was actually in the tree right next to me! Nothing like the echoy tones of a drumming Great-spot. Talking of Great-spotted, I had a couple of these and a Green Woody here too - the full suit of UK Woodpeckers from one spot.

I did spend a bit of time out on patch today, but all was looking a bit grim with no summer migrants to be seen despite visiting Beer Head, Black Hole Marsh, Colyford Common, Colyford Marsh and the Estuary this afternoon. But on my last stop of the day at Bridge Marsh I was delighted to spy two Little Ringed Plovers feeding on the edge of the main scrape.  Apologies for the shockingly poor unpostable pic, but it does show both of them...



All in all another great day!

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