This is a small streaked migrant woodpecker with exquisite camouflage rather like that shown by nightjars. A bit bigger than a Greenfinch or House Sparrow. It does drum and it has a strong bill but it does not seem like much of a woodpecker.
Loud ringing repeated call like Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, some crakes or Little Grebe. Found right round temperate Eurasia and migrates to sub- Saharan Africa, India and the Far East for winter, Moves head from side to side with strange snake-like movement - particularly in the hand when caught for ringing. This bird was widespread in southern England and parts of Wales. It was known as the Cuckoo's mate because it arrived at the same time. Population estimate now about 5 pairs per year not of the Southern English (extinct) population but over spill from Scandinavia in Scotland.
A strange streaked woodpecker.
Length 165 mm Closed wing 90 mm Weight 35 mm
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead