I arrived on the single track road which leads to Galleyhill (where Highwaymen were hanged to serve as a warning), and walked forest trails to the fen.
Most of my efforts this morning were given to the scrub/woodland/fen habitat where mostly common species were either seen or heard. No sign of any Harrier species on this visit.
|Great Spotted Woodpecker - A number 'drumming' today|
A small flock of 12+ Meadow Pipits circled low over the fen and 3+ Fieldfares were seen. 2 Cormorants passed over at height in a south-easterly heading.
Somewhere hidden within tangled, rank habitat, a Water Rail gave its piercing 'pig-like' squealing call. This large site undoubtedly supports a few Water Rails.
I heard at least 3 male Great Spotted Woodpeckers 'drumming' this morning, however, the prize on this visit goes to a distant 'drumming' Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, although not seen, its drumming is clearly different from that of its larger cousin.
Walking through damp Birch woodland a single Woodcock was disturbed from a small patch of thick Bramble scrub.
The walk back along the forest trails produced a number of calling Goldcrests and Tit species.
Differences between 'drumming' Great Spotted and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers.
Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers appear to be a nationally scarce species, however, the site visited today is generally reliable for this diminutive species.
Great Spotted Woodpeckers 'drumming' is a familiar sound in winter woodland with male birds declaring their presence within territory. The drumming sound is strong but of a short duration and tails of with weaker, quicker beats. The 'drumming' produced by Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers sounds weaker, is faster, lasts longer, and remains at a constant number of beats without tailing off.
This could be written in simple terms as follows:
Great Spotted Woodpecker "R R R R R R R R r r r r r r r"
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker "rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr"