Thursday, 9 April 2015
Having woken up at 5am my brother and I cycled off to Withey Beds, near Croxley Green to try our luck seeing the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker which had been frequenting the area. We arrived shortly before 7 o'clock, and were greeted by a deep fog which was slowly settling in, making viewing conditions difficult.
However, we persevered and explored the small reserve searching for good drumming trees for the Woodpecker. A pair of Treecreepers provided entertainment for short while, seemingly chasing each other and drumming Great Spotted Woodpeckers excited us frequently to no avail. Throughout our wait, other birders joined us searching for the Lesser Pecker, and by 9:30 or so the fog had lifted. Kindly another birder told us its favored drumming tree and we waited close by for the bird, eventually at quarter to ten I saw a small Woodpecker fly in, I instantly recognized it as a Lesser Spotted and pointed it out to the others. We had good views of it for a minute or so before it flew on encouraged by an arriving birder.
We waited a little longer to see if it would reappear, but evidently it had continued on its circuit around the area, so we moved on as well. We looked around Croxley Common Moor for an hour or so, were my brother and I picked up a Ring Ouzel flyng from the moor northwards. I first picked it up by call, but almost dismissed it had it not been for my brother who saw it at the same time. Returning home, we were both relieved to eventually have ticked off Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in the UK, which had been up until that morning a 'boggy bird' for both of us. I'm not even going to attempt a 4 Woodpecker Day (not in Britain anyway).