For the majority of birders in Britain today the Lesser-spotted Woodpecker (LSW) is a rare sight, more to the point, to birders in our area in north Lancashire it is at best a highly unlikely sighting. You may well be thinking this goes for other species including the Willow Tit, but the claim of one within the LDBWS recording area recently changes things a little.
It is interesting that the LSW benefited from the spread of Dutch Elms disease in the 1960's - something good comes from everything - the old saying goes. The fungus that lead to the death of the Elm trees was spread from tree to tree by Bark Beetles which provided the LSW with an abundance of food, another benefit was that as a result of the dying Elm they could excavate the decaying trees for the purpose of nesting.
The LSW today is a very scarce bird in most of its range throughout Britain, and there are very few locations where it can be found with any reliability, especially in the north. Last year the species was added to the list of bird species by the UK Rare Breeding Birds Panel seen as the only way to provide effective monitoring. I'd suggest there would be no challenges made against the agreement in general that the extinction of the LSW may not be far away in Lancashire.
As for the Willow Tit - perhaps also on the brink of extinction - the sighting mentioned above in the past few days in the LDBWS recording area always give hope.
Now the customary Picture Gallery with a trio I just could not resist....
Hobby Paul Foster
I can't tell you how envious I am of PF for having the opportunity to see and photograph the Hobby at Lakenheath. Just take a close look at this truly amazing bird and flying machine looking like an overgrown and coloured Swift, those wings....WOW!!
Golden Oriole Paul Foster
Still green with envy of PF and his Golden Oriole, a bird I'm possibly never likely to see in my area in the north of England. Thanks for these two excellent images Paul they are much appreciated.
Bee-Eater Antonio Puigg
Continuing on the envious theme, a brilliant close up of the Bee-Eater, the third of three birds, two of which its not likely I'll see unless I move outside my area, and the other - the Hobby - doesn't carry any guarantee with it. But always worth remembering....you can't always predict the birds. Thanks Antonio, much appreciated.
Many thanks to WB for the new header and brilliant image of the Spotted Flycatcher, a bird well up in my top ten list of favourite summer visitors to our shores.