Now’s the time to look and listen for the rarest of the UK’s three breeding woodpeckers, the Lesser Spotted.
With the treetops still bare, you stand a better chance of seeing this sparrow-sized bird, and during February and March, they’ll be drumming to attract mates and proclaim their territories. Their drumming is longer, rather higher and more even than a Great Spotted Woodpecker’s (theirs tails off slightly).
Lesser Spots have declined considerably in recent years, for reasons that aren’t yet totally understood, so if you do see or hear them this spring, you can help.
Conservationist Ken Smith is hoping to monitor nest sites, so if you know of any, or suspect breeding as a result of sightings and territorial behaviour, email email@example.com. All information is treated in strictest confidence, and data will be passed on to the BTO and RSPB.