Searching for the Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker
I had seen reports from Klippan Nature Reserve that a male Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker now could be seen there. I have never been to Klippan before but thought this was a good time to go there. Woodpeckers are always interesting to see but not always to photograph. Most often you stand way under the bird and the pictures therefore become boring. One need to get lucky and have them at eye level to get an interesting picture.
I woke up early on Saturday and checked the weather forecast. Clear skies and cold. Once again winter has come to my parts of Sweden as the temperatures had dropped during the week. After breakfast I checked my gear to see that everything is tip top. This is a ritual I have and one everyone should adapt. It is most frustrating to get out into the field and discover that something isn’t working. This morning I adjusted my new Benro Ballhead that I have on my monopod to get it to work more smoothly.
The 30 minutes ride to Klippan was a real pleasure with clear blue skies and a wonderful pinkish sunrise. My mood was high when I arrived even if the temperatures had dropped from minus 10°C to minus 17°C. I am not one that loves the cold but there where no wind and that almost made it bearable. There were several vehicles on the small parking space so I understood I wouldn´t be alone searching for the elusive Woodpecker.
I went outside and looked at the information board that had a good map to get a grip of the Nature Reserve. Klippan is a small Nature Reserve with many old trees. They only clear trees falling over the trails and that makes Klippan Nature Reserve a Woodpecker heaven, as insects love old trees that is left to wither away for themselves.
I went into the Reserve in the direction in which I thought the Woodpecker had been seen on Friday. I meet the first person just after 2 minutes and after I quick chat I knew that the Woodpecker hadn´t been found yet. So I kept on walking stumbling into more persons searching for bird. After my third stop I decided to climb up a hill as I was told they had seen a Lesser spotted Woodpecker on top of the hill. I wanted to check this out as I was 110% certain that someone else than me would find the Three-toed Woodpecker.
It was a steep climb and as soon as I got up I heard a voice shouting, oit was the person that told me of the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. He shouted that he had found the Three-toed. The climb down was taken in a hurry and when I arrived I could see the Woodpecker banging at a tree along a small stream. I took out my camera and made adjustments as the bird was staying in a very dark place.
This photo is the best that I took. There are some twigs in the background that I don’t like and the picture isn´t sharp enough as I was forced to use a shutter speed of 1/40s. I think this is a good first try but I probably go back in a week or two to see if I can do better.
On the way home I stopped and made a small hike along Säveån to see what that could bring. I have heard of Goldfinches there and wanted to investigate if they still where there. I didn´t get any possibility to take any photos of them as they sat deep inside a bush, but it was nice to hear them sing. Still it was a good hike, even if I missed the Goldfinches, as there where many birds there and I got decent pictures of both Eurasian Siskin and Fieldfare.
A nice day but maybe a little cold for my taste.