Birdwatchers in Kinver, South Staffordshire, have their eyes and ears peeled after a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was recently seen in nearby woodland.
West Midlands based photographer, Matthew Lissimore, was lucky enough to catch a rare sighting of the bird in woodland cared for by the National Trust.
The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is the smallest and least common of the three Woodpeckers resident in Britain today. These birds tend to nest and feed higher up in the trees and their drumming is quieter than their more common counterparts.
Matthew Lissimore, Photographer said: “I was so excited to capture this bird on camera. The woodpecker in my photos is male. You can tell this by the bright red crown on its head.”
Ewan Chapman, National Trust Lead Ranger said: “This species of Woodpecker has been in decline in Britain since the 1970s. The loss of ancient woodland habitat, removal of deadwood and competition from other species have all contributed.
“The way we’re managing the woodland at Kinver Edge is helping to support these rare birds. Regular tree thinning gives more mature trees room to develop a fuller crown because they aren’t competing for space and light. Invertebrates and insects live in this part of the tree, so a fuller crown provides birds and other wildlife with better foraging and feeding opportunities.”
“Every year, we open up the rides and pathways on Kinver Edge to allow more sun light to reach the woodland floor which benefits plants and wildlife. Woodpeckers chisel into the deadwood we leave alongside the path edges to forage for wood-boring insects.”