I spent the morning at Shut Heath Wood at Great Totham in Essex, searching for Lesser-Spotted Woodpeckers.
The forecast was for a dry bright start with rain showers arriving around midday, and it turn out to be spot on.
Arriving at the car park around eight, it was a short walk around the edge of a field to reach the entrance to the wood.
On entering the wood there was the sound of a distant woodpecker drumming, unfortunately not the target bird but a Great-Spotted. Walking along the obvious paths with regular stops to scan any bird movement, It seemed every bird scanned was either a Blue or Great Tit. But there were other birds present with plenty of Treecreepers found and one pair was watched nest building.
Nuthatches were very vocal in the wood, but proved somewhat more difficult to pin down for any prolonged views.
As the tree canopy opened up three Buzzards were seen circling overhead, they were then joined by a Sparrowhawk.
The below shot was the best I could manage, before they drifted away and out of view.
Green Woodpeckers were heard at regular intervals and more persistent drumming from a Great-Spotted Woodpecker allowed us to pin point it's location.
After 2-3 circuits of the wood there was no sight nor sound of any Lesser-Spots.
Another week or two and the wood floor will be covered with carpets of Bluebells.
Late morning saw the weather begin to close in and the rain started to fall. So I took this as a sign to head back to the shelter of the car.