The community website for Forest Hill and Honor Oak, London SE23
Events | Features | Forum | Local Books | Contact

Forum Archive
Woodpecker Watch

Author Message
Joined 04-03-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 18 April, 2007 - 08:48 am:   

I have spoken to a number of people who have been hearing woodpeckers around Forest Hill, this is not something I have heard previously in Forest Hill so I am interested to know more. Is it one woodpecker or a descent of woodpeckers?

I suggest that sightings (or hearings more likely) are recorded on this thread so that we can get an idea of how many and how widespread they might be.

If you want to hear how they sound, and see how they look, the RSPB website has details reatspottedwoodpecker/index.asp

My theory, for what it is worth (and I am no expert), is that they are here to save our horse chestnuts trees by eating the beetles that have become a pest to these trees.

To start us off I heard the sound of a woodpecker this morning coming from Sunderland Road and on Monday I heard one on South Road in a horse chestnut tree, both times around 7am.
Joined 21-12-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 18 April, 2007 - 10:20 am:   

Heard and saw a woodpecker in Mayow Park a few weeks ago on the Syd Soc bird walk. Have heard one in the Sunderland Road/Christ Church area for a few weeks now and actually saw it on Monday morning in a tree opposite the church. A friend saw it yesterday morning as well.
Joined 12-02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, 18 April, 2007 - 11:30 am:   

There seems to be a regular woodpecker in a tree on Sunderland Road that I can here whenever I am out in my back garden. It's great to know that they are moving in to Forest Hill!
Joined 31-10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, 18 April, 2007 - 02:07 pm:   

There are two species of woodpecker resident in S23, the greater spotted woodpecker (about the size of a blackbird and black, white and red) and the green woodpecker (a bit larger and, yes, coloured green with a red patch on its head!).

Follow Michael's link to the RSPB website for pictures and more info on both species and lots of other local birds.

The best chance of seeing a greater spotted woodpecker is if you have a peanut filled bird feeder in your garden. The greater spotted is the species that makes the distinctive tap, tap, tap sound.

The green woodpecker likes ants and so you may see it feeding on the ground in one of the local cemeteries where ant hills can build up in the grass without being flattened by over zealous mowing. Its cry is a very distinctive "yaffle".

Both species are quite wary of people and so you are more likely to hear the birds than see them.

As for numbers there is definitely a pair of greater spotteds living in the Tyson Road area. I have also heard a green woodpecker in the same area in the last few weeks.
Joined 07-06-2006
Posted on Wednesday, 18 April, 2007 - 05:46 pm:   

I have seen both. I think I saw a Green Woodpecker on Taymount Rise during a walk, but it flew off pretty sharpish so cannot be 100% sure.

What I am sure of is the Greater Spotted that likes the trees between Waldram Park Road and Rockbourne. It is only the single (never seen two at a time) but it is here pretty much every day.
Joined 28-06-2006
Posted on Wednesday, 18 April, 2007 - 09:07 pm:   

I've not been there much recently, but last year I heard and saw Green Woodpeckers regularly in and around the Sydenham Hill Wood Nature Reserve. Green parakeets too. And you can get great daytime views of foxes as dusk approaches if you're quiet and keep your ears open for rustling.

PS. Dog walkers, why take your dog for a walk in a nature reserve then let them poop in front of our house just a few metres away? We don't poop in front of yours.
Joined 30-11-2006
Posted on Wednesday, 18 April, 2007 - 09:08 pm:   

I've seen a greater spotted woodpecker in one of the horse chestnut trees on South Road (opposite the church) a couple of times recently. Lovely :)
Joined 19-07-2006
Posted on Wednesday, 18 April, 2007 - 09:27 pm:   

Whenever I dare to venture onto One Tree Hill I always hear the Greater Spotted woodpecker - has anyone actually seen it?
Joined 07-06-2006
Posted on Wednesday, 18 April, 2007 - 10:46 pm:   

not there, but I have actually seen it twice and not just heard it, and I have seen it fly in that direction from here, so probably the same one
Joined 08-10-2006
Posted on Thursday, 19 April, 2007 - 05:09 pm:   

Greater spotted and green woodpeckers are frequently heard (and seen) on One Tree Hill. Come toFriends of One Tree Hill Dawn Chorus walk on Saturday 28th April 4.30 am (meet at the gates to St Augustine's Church) and you may be lucky enough to count these in the birds observed. Wrap up warm!
Joined 28-03-2005
Posted on Thursday, 19 April, 2007 - 09:26 pm:   

In and around Dunoon Road - Greater Spotted pair were regulars on the garden fat feeders when the weather was cold. Last year they brought up some young in one of the neighbouring trees. Not only do they tap in spring (not that common at other times of the year)but their call is a distinctive "chack" They are quite easy to spot. In the last two weeks there has been a Green Woodpecker sitting on top of a large ash tree "yaffling" (sounds a bit like a Laughing Kookaburra). Often, on the way to Honor Oak Park Station, hear quite a few Greater Spotteds drumming on a fine spring morning. Makes the slog to work almost a pleasure. We are lucky to have a good number in the area.
Joined 19-07-2006
Posted on Thursday, 19 April, 2007 - 09:57 pm:   

I saw the dawn chorus walk and cursed - I'm away that weekend, bah! And at the moment I'm having to stick my earplugs in around 4 to be able to get those last two hours sleep without the wonderful cacophony!

I bet it's ace.
Joined 04-05-2005
Posted on Friday, 20 April, 2007 - 08:57 am:   

There is another "Dawn Chorus" walk tomorrow morning, Saturday 21 April, in Sydenham Hill Woods. Meet at Crescent Wood Road entrance at 4.30 am. Sturdy shoes, warm clothes and binoculars recommended.

During the year Sydenham Hill Woods is home to at least 40 varieties of bird, including all three varieties of woodpecker
Joined 20-02-2006
Posted on Friday, 20 April, 2007 - 05:18 pm:   

Heard one this morning (Stanstead Road) while trying to nap and thought to myself that I was more jet-lagged than I thought, hearing imaginary woodpeckers outside my bedroom window.

Very glad to find this thread!
Joined 08-10-2006
Posted on Sunday, 29 April, 2007 - 06:48 pm:   

Greater Spotted Woodpecker seen at the top of an ash tree in Hengrave Road back garden today at around 6pm, presumably visiting from One Tree Hill as it (or they) have been here before.
Joined 09-01-2007
Posted on Monday, 30 April, 2007 - 08:05 am:   

Saw a Green Woodpecker (eating ants?) in my garden in Devonshire Road yesterday - around the middle of the day
Joined 19-05-2004
Posted on Monday, 30 April, 2007 - 06:04 pm:   

We have them on the posh estate, been hearing them recently but occasionally see them.
Joined 19-05-2004
Posted on Monday, 30 April, 2007 - 08:48 pm:   

I am sure that you would like some more details Michael - we see the green spotted woodpecker maybe once a month on the back garden, whereas the greater is seen on a dead apple tree in the garden a few times a year. I'm reliably informed that you get all three in the Hornimans. I've heard a lot of the great spotted recently, perhaps by Hornimans school rather than the gardens. And those parakeets are everywhere at the moment. Hope I have not put a jinx on this.

Local forums in nearby areas: | | | | | |