Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers Pairing (Video)

We are lucky to have a large number of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers in our area here in the Algarve Hills and right now spring has certainly began as they are calling and drumming (and so are the Greater Spotted Woodpeckers too).

Both Lesser and Greater Spotted Woodpeckers drum to attract the opposite sex (females and males do this), the louder the drum, the better the chance of attraction. They have worked out that man-made objects make more noise than trees and therefore you often see them drumming on anything that makes a loud noise.

This morning, I watched a male drumming on a street light and grabbed my mobile to film him, apologies for the footage as I also had to use the digital zoom which has caused quality issues. However, it is worth sharing because as you will see, shortly after I start, a female comes along, you can hear her calling just before she flies in. The male seems to flee, but he lands in a nearby tree and after a quick nibble on the insects on the post, the female joins him. It’s great to have witnessed this pairing up!

The orientation may not be right with the embedded video, so mobile viewers will be better watching directly on YouTube at https://youtu.be/gnaXDgxACYo

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}


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Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Hiding In The Shadows

This is an old photo from April 2019 that I discovered today whilst looking for other photos of these tiny Woodpeckers. I hadn’t processed for some reason so it just goes to show that sometimes looking through old photos can bring up a surprise. It is a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, identified by the red crown as the female doesn’t have it.

It was half in the sun and half hidden by a large branch of this Cork Oak it was making a nest in. Unfortunately, this old tree has since fallen down, it was already dead and it didn’t survive a strong storm.

(Click to view in Lightbox)


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Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers

Yesterday I saw a pair of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers preparing their Nest Hole in preparation for egg laying. The male seemed to be doing all the duties whilst the female kept leaving and returning. I only managed to get shots of the male.

Our local area has a large number of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers probably the most commonly seen Woodpecker here. This is interesting because every resource I read about their presence in Portugal states that they are uncommon. I will be keeping an eye on this nest site and hope to grab some feeding photos if they are successful at breeding. The Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers seem to be less bothered about my presence than any of the other Woodpecker species which means they tolerate me getting quite close.

Here’s a few photos I snapped of him.

Male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
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Morning Dog Walk: A Pair Of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers Making A New Nest Hole

I take a camera along on my Dog Walks to bring you some of the sightings that I see on my morning walks, these photos are rarely going to be great quality as its hard enough keeping an energetic Dog entertained and get close enough to anything. They also help me identify where species are so that I can plan to return.

Wally was happy this morning as we walked up Eagle Ridge. He’s not been up there for ages due to the risk of Processionary Caterpillars. This risk is gone now so we headed up. The ridge lived up to its name as we spotted a large bird (too far away for a photo). It looked more like a Common Buzzard, but as the name in Portuguese is Águia-d’asa-redonda which translates to Round-winged Eagle, I’m claiming another Eagle spot from the ridge!

On the way back down I could hear the tapping of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and in fact there were a pair present with the Female flying back and fore and the Male busy making a hole. I have loads of photos to share and as they didn’t really care I was there, this will be a new spot to hopefully get some feeding shots. Oh and if you were watching my live Instagram feed earlier you may have heard me call it a Lesser Spotted Kingfisher as I ended! Ha ha ha ha!

I will share more the photos soon, but it’s Easter and the party is about to begin in the village’s “Feira do Folar”.

Here is one of the male tapping on the tree, not at the hole, but I think he was on his break looking for insects. Look how he almost grimaces and closes his eyes when he taps.


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Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers In Abundance

Due to the terrain and the number of trees in the local area, we have large numbers of Woodpeckers and it seems that the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker outnumbers all the other species (Greater Spotted, Iberian Green and Wryneck).

I often hear them tapping away on trees and their call which is similar to the Iberian Green’s “laughing call” but softer and cuter. The name “Lesser” is often thought that its because they are seen less often but it actually means smaller. In other words a smaller version of the Greater Spotted Woodpecker. They are the size of a sparrow and the female is often overlooked due to its black and white colours. The male as seen in the photo below has a red crown.

Here is a photo from a few mornings ago. It’s quite heavily cropped so not my usual quality of detail.

{Click image(s) to view on Flickr - opens in new tab}

Male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - Pica-pau-galego (macho) - Dencrocopos minorContinue reading >>

Morning Dog Walk: Males Singing and Drumming For Females…..And, Of Course, Bluey!

I take a camera along on my Dog Walks to bring you some of the sightings that I see on my morning walks, these photos are rarely going to be great quality as its hard enough keeping an energetic Dog entertained and get close enough to anything. They also help me identify where species are so that I can plan to return.

This morning’s walk was full of a few surprises, first, I narrowly missed an opportunity to photograph an Egyptian Mongoose as it scurried away for cover. This is the 2nd time I’ve seen them in the same location in the morning, so I will have to do a stake-out soon.

The Woodpeckers are drumming like crazy today, it is like a building site with all the knocking. I noticed a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker tapping a metal strip on an electricity pole, it was a fair distance away, but took a snap anyway. Notice his red cap, this is how you tell the males and females apart as the females don’t have one. Of course, the females will not be drumming either as the males perform this to attract a mate.


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