12. October 2009 · 2 comments · Categories: Birds


Just 3 minutes before I left the house this morning I spotted a woodpecker on the tree stump in the garden – a first! There aren't any properly big trees very close to our garden so I imagine he's a rare visitor, but extremely welcome. It didn't seem interested in the feeders, preferring to peck at the tree itself for whatever may be hiding beneath its bark.

This is definitely a Great Spotted Woodpecker (sometimes also called Greater Spotted) rather than the Lesser Spotted variety as evidenced by the red patch on the tail, large size and big white vertical patch on the shoulder. The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is tiny and much rarer, with horizontal white stripes down most of its back. It's fairly unlikely to be seen in a suburban garden.

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  1. We had one of these in our garden last week – a rare thing for us too. Relatives in Somerset have told us they’ve seen quite a few of them recently – I wonder if that means this has been a particularly good year for them?

  2. You could be right. In the long term it seems that Great Spotted Woodpeckers are on the rise, while Less Spotted are falling, at least according to this article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/5314460/Nightingale-and-woodpecker-numbers-fall-because-of-intensive-farming.html

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