Once again the sunshine vanished just in time for the afternoon patch visit, but was I daunted ? Yes!! After yesterdays totally rubish day, what with all the disturbance, I was tempted to stay in and watch the garden, but the thought of missing something interesting nearly always gets me out. I only visited the wet woods and lake area, as Migrant Alley was disturbed again. Hadlow College had decided to burn more rubbish right in the maize stubbles, you 'd think being a place of learning, they would show the students some of the winter thrush flock that feeds there, but no, a bonfire it was to be, and the thrush flock had to eat elswhere.
Anyway rant over, I did my usual ''walk- stop- listen'' for an hour or so around the wet woods, and was enjoying the sight of a mixed feeding flock, around 20 LONG TAILED TITS, a TREECREEPER, 3 GOLDCREST, 2 COAL TIT and a few BLUE and GREAT TIT were all feasting on invisible things that live on bare twigs. However the next stop produced a species that I have tried to see in the woods on the last few visits, more in hope than expectation - A LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER (70), A male bird chipped away at an old branch, allowing me some grainy photo's, my first of this species.
Records of L.S. Woodpeckers are few and far between, this being just the 10th sighting. The first was in my garden on the 5th July '03, the next wasn't until November '05, when a female bird was seen on 12th, 13th, and 19th. In 0206 a male was seen also on three dates, June 19th, July 29th, and oct 8th, the last two sightings were of a female on 10 dec 2007, and a male on February 7th last year. So this is a good species to add to the list this year if i'm going to have any hope of beating last years 106 total.
I did visit the lake area but all that was found was a small flock of BULLFINCH, 4 or 5 birds, also a small group of SISKIN just 4 birds, a GREY HERON was asleep on the bank of one of the ponds, but only MALLARD and MOORHEN were on the water.
I now know why I drag myself out when I don't really feel like it, you just never now what your missing!
Below are 3 pics. of the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Not great, but passable - I think!