Rare woodpeckers in Welwyn Garden City woodland

PUBLISHED: 09:49 16 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:49 16 March 2017

A male lesser-spotted woodpecker, photographed by Alan Reynolds

A male lesser-spotted woodpecker, photographed by Alan Reynolds


Two of Britain’s rarest woodpeckers have returned to a now traditional spot on the edge of Welwyn Garden City, where enthusiasts have been trying to glimpse them in recent days.

A male lesser-spotted woodpecker has been excavating a nest hole in Sherrardspark Wood this week, and a female has also been seen nearby.

The smallest of Britain’s three woodpecker species, the lesser-spotted has declined seriously in recent years, with only a handful of birds seen in Hertfordshire.

They are easier to find in the spring, when they start calling and drum on dead wood to attract potential mates, particularly in the early morning.

Birdwatchers looking for them have also enjoyed up to four firecrests in the same part of Sherrardspark Wood.

The Herts Bird Club has asked the Welwyn Hatfield Times not to reveal the precise location to protect these rare and vulnerable birds from disturbance.

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