Saturday, 26 January 2008

All three Woodpeckers ... but I missed pass the parcel

I snuck off from a kids' birthday party at lunchtime to give the Grove my first look of the year and hopefully secure a few Ally Pally year ticks.  

The Grove is the most westerly section of the Park and in part borders onto Muswell Hill. It is a pretty reliable spot for a few species that can be tricky to see elsewhere in the Park, notably Coal Tit and Stock Dove.

I started well with Stock Dove and Goldcrest, both new for the year. A quick walk through the pine belt brought only a Green Woodpecker. However, a calling Nuthatch persuaded me to walk over to the far south-west side of the Grove. Here a small flock of 15 or so Redwing flitted about nervously before heading down the slope.  A Great Spotted Woodpecker showed well, with a further bird heard drumming.

The Nuthatch proved elusive. A bird flew from a tree in which they had bred in previous years and I raised my binoculars expecting it to be the Nuthatch. Instead, I was delighted to see it was a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. The Lesser Spot showed well for c. 10 minutes, mainly feeding high up in the tall Lime trees that line the main path through the Grove. It was silent, although I thought I heard another bird calling briefly from nearby.

So a 25 minute visit produced all three Woodpeckers. Will Lesser Spot return as a breeding species to the Park? Fingers crossed.