The Woodpecker Network


Thanks to all of you who have let us know about the Lesser Spot nests you have found.

We have visited and looked into seven possible nests with our nest inspection camera, two were active:

  • one in ash had two eggs with the male in attendance, so assuming a clutch of five eggs incubation would have started on 30 April and hatching expected on 11 May
  • one in an alder had not been completed
  • one had been abandoned as the birds had excavated through to the other side of the rather small diameter branch
  • one in birch had been abandoned as the wood was too soft
  • one was a Great Spot nest with a female incubating five eggs
  • one in the New Forest, the male was in the nest hole and apparently incubating, but we could not see if there were any eggs
  • one in the New Forest had been trashed by Great Spots

We plan to travel to check out two more nests this week where observers have seen both male and female visiting the nest and apparently incubating.

In Devon, Malcolm Burgess has one of our nest cameras and will be checking possible nests.

In Lincoln Andy Sims’ lonely male has a nest hole but is still drumming with no sign of a female.

Several other observers have potential nests but we await further news.

If any of you have information on a Lesser Spot nest, please get in touch and we will organise a visit with the nest camera (if we can).

At this stage Lesser Spots are very secretive and difficult to detect unless you actually find the nest hole. But in ten days or so the birds should be feeding young and this will be a good time to go out again and search for nests. ... Good Luck.

Top Tip - estimate the size of the nest hole - 30mm (just over an inch) for Lesser spot, 50mm (two inches) for Great Spot and 70mm (about three inches) for Green Woodpecker.

LSW RichardJacobs leftcolLesser Spotted Woodpecker by Richard Jacobs 2019 LSW TimPreston 256Lesser Spotted Woodpecker © Tim Preston

Don't confuse juvenile Great Spotted Woodpeckers with male Lesser Spots - they both have red caps!

Dont confuse your woodpeckers

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