The Wyre Forest is one of the largest remaining ancient woodlands in Britain, covering over 6500 acres in South Shropshire and Worcestershire, and provides the perfect habitat for many types of birds, notably Hawfinch, Dipper, Wood Warbler, Common Crossbill, Spotted and Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, and all tree species of Woodpecker.
The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is much smaller than the other two species, roughly the size of a sparrow, and spends most of its time in the canopy of the tall trees, so it is easier to spot in winter and early spring before the leaves appear. I set off on the paths through the woodland heading for Dowles Brook. It was a dry morning, with occasional glimpses of sunshine, but cooler than previous days, and the woodland was quite quiet, with very little evidence of birdlife. One of the telltale signs of the presence of woodpeckers in the spring is the drumming of their beaks on the trees, which is a way of advertising their occupation of a territory, and finding a suitable mate, but unfortunately I did not hear this.