Sunday 22nd January 2012 - Captains Pool and Spennells Valley NR

This morning I called for Tony and with the intention of checking out the woodland adjacent to Captains Pool that forms part of Spennells Valley Nature Reserve to see if we could locate the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker that had been reported there on the previous 2 days.  Technically this woodland is is just off patch and I tend to use the rule that I only count the birds in the woodland if I can see them from the Dam at Captains Pool.

A quick check of Captains pool was done before checking the woods and we noted that both the drake Shoveller and the Great Crested Grebe were still present.  A 2nd Coot was a new arrival there.

We then headed to the section of Spennells Valley where the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker had been reported and spent the next 1.5 hours walking the perimeter footpaths and scanning the trees & Tit flocks.  There wasn't a sniff of a Lesser although we did get nice views of a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers that were present there.  The only other bird of note was a cracking ♀ Blackcap that must be over-wintering there (I just need it to venture over by Captains at some point).

The other thing that struck me at Spennells Valley was the amount of flowers that were in bloom.  Loads of Lesser Celandine were flowering along the brook.  Daffodil and Crocus were also seen in flower in the wood.  Must be due to this mild winter I guess.


  1. Bad luck on the Lesser Spotted Jason!

    It is worrying as to the effect plants flowering early will have on insects and ultimately birds. It certainly has been a strange season!

  2. Oh dear, I think I should have put a comma between Lesser Spotted and Jason, it makes you sound like a new bird species ;-)

  3. It's def been a strange Winter Jan. Although the llack of a cold snap will help some of the birds that have struggled the past 2 hard Wren, Goldcrest, Kingfisher, Stonechat to name but a few.

    As for the Lesser Spotted Jason...I wouldn't worry about it, I've been called much worse ;-)