Middle Spotted Woodpecker

Can anyone tell me if the Middle Spotted Woodpecker's range has changed recently, and if it would be possible that the bird I was watching in my sycamore tree last week, was in actual fact this bird?  I have cross referenced several books; which all state that it does not visit the UK, however I now beg to differ, as I am convinced that this is the species I was watching.  Please could anybody offer me any info on this matter!  (note the lack of black markings on the head and the tuft of red only)

Many thanks

  • Hi GS

    Is there supposed to be a photo cos nothing is showing?

    TJ

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Regards,Tony

    My Flickr Photostream 

  • Hi there,

    To my knowledge, Middle Spotted hasn't ever been confirmed as occurring in the UK. While not wanting to rule anything completely out, there are a lot of juvenile Great Spots around right now so to convince the ornithological powers-that-be you'd have to submit a detailed description that showed how you'd checked for the subtle differences between a young GS and an adult MS. And they ARE fairly subtle - mainly details of the head pattern, and overall size and build as far as I can see.

    Maybe someone who's actually seen a Middle Spot can comment?

    Colin

  • In reply to Colin Wilkinson:

    Colin Wilkinson said:
    Maybe someone who's actually seen a Middle Spot can comment?

    Well I have seen them a couple of times in central Europe. Whether I could identify them again without a guide book in one hand and an expert in the other is debatable. I seem to recall that they don't have the "moustache" of the GS woody. The thing I most clearly remember is the call - very harsh and strident and nothing like any of the calls of the Great Spot.

    A photo would be great if you can get one.

    Regards TJ

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Regards,Tony

    My Flickr Photostream 

  • In reply to TeeJay:

    I've seen them overseas too. Young Great Spots do look quite Middle Spot-like with the red crown and undeveloped face pattern. Middle Spot has no black on the crown while young Great Spot does (bordering the red crown), and Middle Spot's 'moustache' is heavier. Also, as Colin says, Middle Spot has not been recorded in Britain. Like most (European at least) woodpeckers it is rather sedentary by nature and even the shortest sea crossing is a significant barrier.

    Compare general shape plus face pattern in these two pics - Great Spot (adult feeding juv): http://www.hanahoephotography.com/userimages/GreatSpottedWoodpeckerFeedingaJuvenile.jpg

    Middle Spot http://www.biolib.cz/IMG/GAL/45051.jpg

    My blog: http://mazzaswildside.blogspot.co.uk/

    My Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/124028194@N04/

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Hi Great Spotter

    Welcome to the Forum. Enjoy yourself here

    Very interesting thread. I have to say I have never heard of a Middle Spotted woodpecker at all so it is a new thing to me {smile}

    Have you got a picture of the bird in question - have you added the picture to your gallery?

    You have had a lot of good advice on this thread and I found it all very informative indeed.

    Regards

    Kathy and Dave

    Great Spotter said:

    Can anyone tell me if the Middle Spotted Woodpecker's range has changed recently, and if it would be possible that the bird I was watching in my sycamore tree last week, was in actual fact this bird?  I have cross referenced several books; which all state that it does not visit the UK, however I now beg to differ, as I am convinced that this is the species I was watching.  Please could anybody offer me any info on this matter!  (note the lack of black markings on the head and the tuft of red only)

    Many thanks

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Pictures do help tremendously with this type of thing. But its very unlikely to be a Middle Spotted Woodpecker

    Camera always at the ready!!


    @BirdPics on twitter

     

    http://tomsphotog.webs.com/

  •  

    Hi,

    Middle spotted woodpeckers normally show narrow streaks on the flanks -  and have a cleaner looking face as they lack Great spots obvious black moustache . The bill is shorter than on a GSWP. Their undertail is ussually more pinkish than the bright red of GSWP :)  MSWP has never been officially accepted as occuring in Britain by the BBRC :)

    I have some experience with both species:)

    :)

    S

    ps- your avatar shows a nice Middle spot photographed in Hungary I see:)

    For advice about Birding, Identification,field guides,  binoculars, scopes, tripods,  etc - put 'Birding Tips'   into the search box

  • In reply to seymouraves:

    Unfortunately I did not get a photo, I was watching through my bins from the kitchen window which is about 15metres away form the tree, which has recently been pruned and ivy pulled off!  I am familiar with juvenielle greater spotted woodpeckers, and the lack of any black moustache/markings on or around the head was the brain teaser for me.  My avatar shows, what I believe to be, a good match of the bird that I saw.  Thanks for all your current feedback, it has been most informative!

    GS

     

  • In reply to Colin Wilkinson:

    Colin Wilkinson said:

    Hi there,

    To my knowledge, Middle Spotted hasn't ever been confirmed as occurring in the UK. While not wanting to rule anything completely out, there are a lot of juvenile Great Spots around right now so to convince the ornithological powers-that-be you'd have to submit a detailed description that showed how you'd checked for the subtle differences between a young GS and an adult MS. And they ARE fairly subtle - mainly details of the head pattern, and overall size and build as far as I can see.

    Maybe someone who's actually seen a Middle Spot can comment?

    Colin

    We made a similar mistake - partly because there were more than one juveniles with different amounts of red on their heads - thought it was a pair of middles!!  We were only using a field guide and did not realise how big juveniles would be when we first saw them.  Adults and juveniles visit our feeder (5 foot outside the window) and they have been around for about a month now - can someone tell me how long they would normally stick around and when do they lose their red tops??

  • In reply to Kevin and Katie:

     

    Hi,

    Great spot juvvies moult their red caps in autumn. By the end of August the red should be gone.

    S

    For advice about Birding, Identification,field guides,  binoculars, scopes, tripods,  etc - put 'Birding Tips'   into the search box