They say that to find the love of your life, all you have to do is stop looking. It would seem the same is true of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers.
I went to Sue's house yesterday to watch the (final) final of Masterchef. We were greatly looking forward to an hour of nonsensical food displayed against a canvas of wildly overdramatic music. It was a sunny, though somewhat chilly and windy afternoon, and after a bit of garden-pottering Sue suggested a short walk in the local area. We headed out along a nearby public footpath, through an orchard where Sue had a lie-down on her blanket while I went for an explore.
Heading downhill, I reached the edge of a patch of woodland. I stood there quietly and heard the discreet tapping of a woodpecker (or Nuthatch) in feeding mode. I didn't have my binoculars with me, but searched the trees from where the sound was coming, and eventually detected movement on the shaded side of a large dead branch. Looking through the camera, the bird was tucked behind almost hidden from view but I could see the silhouetted outline of its head when it drew back for a peck.
There was nowhere I could go for a better view - too many trees in the way. I tried to take photos of the silhouetted head. From the very little I could see I thought it looked good for LSW - a small and rounded head with a relatively little bill. Then the bird flew onto a higher branch, much obscured by leaves. I pointed the camera anyway and fired. Through the viewfinder I could now see the ladder-striped back that said this was indeed an LSW.
Continuing our walk, we headed down into the woods, meeting a few insects on the way.
ETA - actually, make that a male. I didn't realise that the sexes are the same colour when very freshly emerged... but after comparing lots of photos, I've decided that the shape of the anal appendages makes this a male.