On Monday afternoon, after returning home from a visit to Staines Reservoir (post to follow), I was contacted by friends who informed me that a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker had been regularly visiting a large tree in their garden during the previous 24 hours. "Would I like to visit the following morning and try to get some photographic evidence?" You can, no doubt, guess my response.
So when we met up on Tuesday morning I listened to their delight in recounting the joy in finding and watching the 'sparrow-sized' Woodpecker that they hadn't heard or seen for about 20 years.
While enjoying a chat over a cup of coffee I noticed the activity at their feeders on the other side of their large double-glazed patio doors and took the opportunity to grab a few shots of its much larger cousin the Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopus major). The hint of red on the back of the head signifies that this was a male.
When we stepped outside into the very chilly sunshine the piping call of the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was heard almost immediately from a hidden perch in a line of trees near the bottom of their property.
It then flew to its regular feeding spot high up on a bare branch and I only had time for a couple of distant shots before it departed.
I waited in the chilly wind for well over an hour but the tiny Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopus minor) didn't return so for the time being I'll have to settle for this cropped record shot.