The other afternoon I went for a walk after work, and discovered a new footpath on the network of paths that lead from near my house and over the Loxley Valley. Scanning the water for dippers or kingfishers (I’ll get one of them there one day!), I turned I saw what looked unmistakably like a tiny version of a great spotted woodpecker flying across the path. A brief glimpse, but I can now add lesser spotted to both my patch and life lists, and I’ve seen all three woodpeckers in the Loxley Valley since I moved in.
Speaking of woodpeckers, we got a great spotted in the garden yesterday afternoon, which flew into a tree while we were out gardening (for anyone who knows me – yes I was gardening! Well, does spraying a bit of weedkiller and watering things count?). It made a few alarm calls and flew off.
On Saturday I did the BTO bird survey at my 1km square in Stocksbridge. Due to moving, and being rained off on days I planned to do it, it was well on the late side, but saw plenty. There were loads of swallows flying around me while I walked up the road, singing skylarks displaying in the fields, even more great spotted woodpeckers, and lapwings fluttering around making their silly electronic noises. A quick walk round Underbank afterwards was pleasant if slightly dead birdwise, although I did see my first common sandpiper of the year.