The Woodpecker Network

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2018 first nest - a visit with our nest inspection camera on 30 April revealed a female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker incubating five eggs. Has anyone else found a nest? If so please get in touch and we can arrange a visit to check number of eggs/chicks as part of the project. The first nest is ..... 

Local observers* in East Anglia* watched their Lesser Spot pair excavating a nest hole in early April. By careful observation they suspect incubation started on the 23rd or 24th, which is very early in the season.

We (Ken and Linda) were invited to visit with our nest inspection camera on 30 April. When we first looked into the hole the female was incubating, so we withdrew and watched until she quietly left. We quickly looked in again and photographed the five eggs resting on woodchips. Afterwards we watched from a safe distance and a bird returned to the nest within a few minutes. We have left a camera with the local team and they will check the nest again once the birds are feeding the young and again before the chicks fledge.

It is excellent that this nest was found early enough to determine the laying date and clutch size. This information is important in trying to understand the factors that are affecting breeding success and what might be causing the population decline in Lesser Spots.

Our inspection method causes minimum disturbance to the birds. The camera operator stands at the base of the tree, only the remote camera on a telescopic pole goes to the nest. Over the last 15 years, we have checked dozens of Lesser Spot nests and over a thousand Great Spot nests using this technique and never had a problem, the birds return to normal within a few minutes.

Thanks to everyone who has been in touch with us with reports of Lesser Spot activity. If you know of a Lesser Spot nest, please get in touch with Ken This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at Lesser Spot Network and we can discuss how to monitor its progress and arrange a visit to determine the number of eggs/chicks.

Note * we are not mentioning the names of the observers or the location of the nest site to ensure confidentiality and prevent disturbance.

LSW TimPreston 256Lesser Spotted Woodpecker © Tim Preston

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