It's getting much easier to see the smaller birds in the trees, now that they have shed some or all of their leaves. Mind you if the daylight is coming from the wrong direction then often as not you will only see the birds silhouette, as they sit patiently in a tree waiting for you to make your mind up as to what species it is, not that I am complaining as it's been good to get out this last week without it raining. At Sandford Lake, Berkshire on the 12th, I waited most of the day beside a clump of dead trees in the hope of seeing a LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER, which had it's roost hole at the top of one of them. As late afternoon wore on and the light began to fade, I had almost given up hope, when it suddenly appeared on a tree fifty yards away. It then flew to it's roost tree and after a few seconds inspection it went in for the night. I managed a photo taken in very poor light and saw that the bird had a red coloured top of head, a male. The next morning I returned to the roost site in the hope of seeing the bird again and perhaps getting a better photograph. Unfortunately on arrival another birder informed those that were there, that the roost had been attacked earlier that morning by a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, which had driven the LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER off and then destroyed the roost. On the 22nd at Moor Green Lakes, my first of the winter returning GOOSANDER, a female was seen, whilst on the 25th, five males flew in and very smart they looked too. On the same day a male GOLDENEYE returned to Grove Lake, there is usually one that over winters there. They are sometimes hard to spot as they spend most of their feeding time under the water and only surface briefly before they dive again.
Hi, I'm Roger Milligan. I have been interested in birds since I was a boy growing up in south east London, which was a long time ago. I now live in Farnborough, Hampshire.