Weekly Wildlife

Cool birds and cool temperatures on Sherwood and Budby this week. ❄️

At this time of year all the birds are working overtime to try and find as much food as possible to keep warm during the winter. Yet there is one species in particular that doesn’t seem quite so focused on food, but more focused on making their head slam down a piece of wood 14 times a second!

I’m talking about the lesser spotted woodpecker. At this time of year these sparrow-sized woodpeckers are just starting to establish their territories. In the winter LSW territories can be as big as 740 hectares! Just to put that into perspective, an area this size can hold as many as 600 blue tit pairs! Utterly baffling! Keep your ears open for a short soft, relatively quiet sounding drum when walking around the forest.


A leafminer in bramble, possibly Stigmella aurella. By Indy Kiemel Greene

Now to a species that is making frequent appearances in the forest. The marsh tits are still showing very well, almost anywhere along the bridleway and have recently started singing!

On Tuesday I heard one singing just behind the Major Oak which was my first one of the year so I was very excited when I heard it!


Marsh tit by Indy Kiemel Greene.

Ending the week with what has just got to be one of my all-time favourite birds, the stonechat! Saw this very cold looking female perched up on some bramble on an early morning walk on Thursday.

Fluffing up all her feathers trying to keep insulated and warm. This is one of a pair that have spent their winter on Budby South Forest close to the main entrance and have been showing well but moving around constantly. Frantically trying to find food. They will eat insects, seeds and sometimes fruit like blackberries. Keep and eye on the tops of heather and bramble stems for these orange little dudes! 🧡


Female stonechat in the frost, by Indy Kiemel Greene

Let us know what you see!

Remember to fill in the recent sightings book in the Visitor Centre. Leave your comments on our Facebook page and tag us in your Tweets on Twitter if you have any wildlife sightings or identification queries.