8 LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER
Another of London’s rarer residents is the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. In the 19th Century it was the most common woodpecker in the London area, while the Great Spotted Woodpecker was recorded as ‘one of our rarest birds’. In a strange tale of changing fortunes, the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker population declined dramatically while populations of the other two woodpecker species soared. The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is now on the UK Red List of declining species. Sites including Wanstead Flats still have breeding pairs, although this shy, sparrow-sized woodpecker is notoriously hard to spot. The Great Spotted Woodpecker and also the Green Woodpecker, by contrast, can now be easily encountered at sites across London.