BLAGDON LAKE BIRDS

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker



Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dryobates minor (Linnaeus, 1758)

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dryobates minor comminutus

(Rare R.)

  1. Present, heard, 29th Aug. 1937 (H.H. Davis).
  2. One, not aged or sexed, 9th Jan. 1938 (H.H. Davis, H. Tetley).
  3. One, not aged or sexed, 30th March 1940 (H.H. Davis, H. Tetley).
  4. Present, heard, 19th Dec. 1943 (H.H. Davis).
  5. One, not aged or sexed, 26th March 1949 (B.J. Bailey, B. King, M.J. Wotton).
  6. One, not aged or sexed, 15th April 1949 (B.J. Bailey, B. King, M.J. Wotton).
  7. One, not aged or sexed, 4th March 1951 (B. King).
  8. One, not aged or sexed, 8th March 1953 (P.J. Chadwick, B. King).
  9. One, not aged or sexed, 11th July 1954 (P.J. Chadwick).
  10. One, not aged or sexed, 30th Oct. 1955 (B. King).
  11. One, not aged or sexed, 26th Feb. 1956 (B. King).
  12. One, not aged or sexed, 6th Aug. 1956 (T.B. Silcocks).
  13. One, not aged or sexed, 3rd March 1957 (B. King).
  14. Two, a pair, 11th April 1957 (T.D.H. Merrie).
  15. One, not aged or sexed, 27th June 1957 (B. King).
  16. One, not aged or sexed, 10th Nov. 1957 (P.J. Chadwick, M.A. Wright).
  17. One, not aged or sexed, April 1959 (B. King, J.A. McGeoch, G. Sweet).
  18. Present, breeding, 1961 (T.B. Silcocks).
  19. One, not aged or sexed, 25th Feb. 1962 (B. King).
  20. Four, not aged or sexed, 6th March 1962 (G.C. Buxton).
  21. One, not aged or sexed, 1st May to 31st Oct. 1964 (R. Angles, M. Kendall, G. Sweet).
  22. Present, breeding, 7th March 1965 (P.J. Chadwick), presumed same 21st March (P.J. Chadwick), & 19th Sep. (P.J. Chadwick).
  23. Present, not aged or sexed, 6th March 1966 (P.J. Chadwick).
  24. Present, not aged or sexed, 12th March 1967 (P.J. Chadwick), presumed same one, not aged or sexed, 23rd March (T.R. Cleeves, P.L. Garvey), one, not aged or sexed, 3rd May (A. E. Billett), one, not aged or sexed, 19th June (H.W. Neal), one, not aged, July (H.W. Neal).
  25. One, drumming, 9th March 1968 (R. Angles).
  26. Present, April 1970 (D.E. Ladhams), presumed same three, one & two ♀, 29th April (D.E. Ladhams), two, a pair mating 3rd-4th May (D.E. Ladhams), five, two adults & five juveniles, 4th July (D.E. Ladhams)
  27. Present, 1971 (per H.H. Davis).
  28. Present, 1975 (per J.A. McGeoch).
  29. Present, 1976 (per J.A. McGeoch).
  30. One, not aged or sexed, 8th-30th April 1978 (per D. Payne).
  31. One, not aged or sexed, 3rd Aug. 1989 (R.J. Higgins).
  32. One, not aged, 5th March 1994 (A.H. Davis).
  33. One, not aged or sexed, 23rd July 1994 (per A.H. Davis).
  34. One, not aged or sexed, 26th March 1999 (R.G. Palmer).
  35. One, singing but not seen, 8th May 2012 (M.Jenkins).

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Phenology Chart Lesser Spotted Woodpecker History

Phenology Chart of Records & History of Records by 5 yr

I have birded at Blagdon Lake for twenty-four years and have yet to see or hear a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, so I have designated it as a rare resident and have, therefore, included all the records that I have in my database, even though there are more than twenty. The sequence will, I hope, show the dramatic decline that has occurred over the years and explain why I have chosen to declare it rare. There were 1400 to 2900 pairs in 2000 in Britain, though this is probably now an overestimate (BTO website, 2013). Indeed, the most recent estimate, given as 1000-2000 pairs, is based on an extrapolation from The New Atlas of Breeding Birds in Britain and Ireland: 1988-1991 but the reliability of the figure given is said to be poor. The Rare Birds Breeding Panel data also suggests a total of about 1000 pairs (Musgrove et al, 2013). It is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species.

In his A Revised List of the Birds of the Bristol District, H.H. Davis comments "Resident. Widely distributed and not uncommon in most areas. Less frequently reported than Great Spotted Woodpecker but, owing to its small size, is perhaps often overlooked."

The latest Avon Atlas (Bland & Dadds, 2013) makes the following observations on the decline and current status of 'Lesser Pecker' since then:

"In the 1972 Atlas breeding was proved in seven of the 18 ten-km squares, and probable or possible in a further eight. By the time of the 1984 Winter Atlas it was found in 24 tetrads in eight ten-km squares, and by the 1992 Breeding Atlas it was present in nine ten-km squares and proved to breed in three. Nationally it was most common when the Dutch Elm disease was rife in the mid-1970s, and it has declined by 70% between 1970 and 2009. It was always very elusive, and only readily identifed in early spring when calling and drumming. In this survey it was found in eight ten-km squares, five of them in the summer, and altogether in eleven tetrads. Breeding was not proved, but was probable in two ten-km squares." The status has been given as "Scarce and very local breeding resident".

Bibliography (sources of information)

  1. Bland, R.L. & Dadds, M. 2013. Avon Atlas 2007-11.
  2. Blaythwayt, Rev F.L. (ed.). Report on Somerset Birds, 1937. Somersetshire Archaeol. & Nat. Hist. Soc.
  3. Blaythwayt, Rev F.L. (ed.). Report on Somerset Birds, 1938. Somersetshire Archaeol. & Nat. Hist. Soc.
  4. Blaythwayt, Rev F.L. (ed.). Report on Somerset Birds, 1941. Somersetshire Archaeol. & Nat. Hist. Soc.
  5. Blaythwayt, Rev F.L. (ed.). Report on Somerset Birds, 1943. Somersetshire Archaeol. & Nat. Hist. Soc.
  6. British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) website.
  7. Davis, A.H. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 1994. Avon Ornithological Group.
  8. Davis, A.H. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 1999. Avon Ornithological Group.
  9. Davis, A.H. Birds at Blagdon Lake 1963-1983. Bristol Ornith. 18: 102-116. Bristol Ornithological Club.
  10. Davis, A.H. 1994. Personal Diaries (in. litt.)
  11. Davis H.H. 1948. A Revised List of the Birds of the Bristol District. Reprinted from the Proc. of the Bristol Naturalists' Society, vol. XXVII, part IV, pp. 225-268. 1947.
  12. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Bristol Bird Report, 1955. Bristol Naturalists' Society.
  13. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Bristol Bird Report, 1956. Bristol Naturalists' Society.
  14. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Bristol Bird Report, 1957. Bristol Naturalists' Society.
  15. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Bristol Bird Report, 1959. Bristol Naturalists' Society.
  16. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Bristol Bird Report, 1961. Bristol Naturalists' Society.
  17. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Bristol Bird Report, 1962. Bristol Naturalists' Society.
  18. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Bristol Bird Report, 1964. Bristol Naturalists' Society.
  19. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Bristol Bird Report, 1965. Bristol Naturalists' Society.
  20. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Bristol Bird Report, 1966. Bristol Naturalists' Society.
  21. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Bristol Bird Report, 1967. Bristol Naturalists' Society.
  22. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Bristol Bird Report, 1968. Bristol Naturalists' Society.
  23. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Ornithological Notes Bristol District, 1949. Bristol Naturalists' Society.
  24. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Ornithological Notes Bristol District, 1951. Bristol Naturalists' Society.
  25. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Ornithological Notes Bristol District, 1953. Bristol Naturalists' Society.
  26. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Ornithological Notes Bristol District, 1954. Bristol Naturalists' Society.
  27. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Report on Somerset Birds, 1953. Somersetshire Archaeol. & Nat. Hist. Soc.
  28. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Report on Somerset Birds, 1954. Somersetshire Archaeol. & Nat. Hist. Soc.
  29. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Report on Somerset Birds, 1955. Somersetshire Archaeol. & Nat. Hist. Soc.
  30. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Report on Somerset Birds, 1957. Somersetshire Archaeol. & Nat. Hist. Soc.
  31. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Somerset Birds, 1962. Somersetshire Archaeol. & Nat. Hist. Soc.
  32. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Somerset Birds, 1965. Somersetshire Archaeol. & Nat. Hist. Soc.
  33. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Somerset Birds, 1970. Somersetshire Archaeol. & Nat. Hist. Soc.
  34. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Somerset Birds, 1971. Somersetshire Archaeol. & Nat. Hist. Soc.
  35. Higgins, R.J. 1989. Top End Diary.
  36. Kendall, M. (ed.). Bird News, Jul. 1967. Bristol Ornithological Club.
  37. Kendall, M. (ed.). Bird News, Mar. 1968. Bristol Ornithological Club.
  38. Ladhams, D.E. Some Observations on Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers in the Breeding Season. Bristol Ornithology, 1, No.5, 211-212, Nov. 1972.
  39. McGeoch, J.A. (ed.). Somerset Birds, 1966. Somersetshire Archaeol. & Nat. Hist. Soc.
  40. McGeoch, J.A. (ed.). Somerset Birds, 1967. Somersetshire Archaeol. & Nat. Hist. Soc.
  41. McGeoch, J.A. (ed.). Somerset Birds, 1968. Somersetshire Archaeol. & Nat. Hist. Soc.
  42. McGeoch, J.A. (ed.). Somerset Birds, 1975. Somerset Ornithological Society.
  43. McGeoch, J.A. (ed.). Somerset Birds, 1976. Somerset Ornithological Society.
  44. Musgrove, A. et al. Population estimates of birds in Great Britain and the United Kingdom. Brit. Birds 106:2, 64-100, Feb. 2013.
  45. Payne, D. (ed.). Bird News, Apr. 1978. Bristol Ornithological Club.
  46. Savory, J.H. (ed.). Somerset Birds, 1959. Somersetshire Archaeol. & Nat. Hist. Soc.
  47. Savory, J.H. (ed.). Somerset Birds, 1961. Somersetshire Archaeol. & Nat. Hist. Soc.
  48. Taylor, S.M. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 1989. Avon Ornithological Group.

Updated 23 June, 2013