After preparing the last Sherwood post I realised I didn’t have a very good selection of trees. This was partly because I hadn’t taken enough pictures, partly because I needed to visit more trees and (to be honest) because I’ve mislaid some photos.
I can’t do much about the last point, apart from a lot of boring searching, so I short-circuited that by making another visit and taking more photos.
It was an admin day today so we’d lost the best of the light by the time we started, but there was enough to get a good selection of photos. Many of them look like they are dead, and some are, but many of them will have leaves when spring comes, despite being hollow. Hollow trees are often quite vigorous as the material from the middle rots down and feeds the remaining parts of the tree.
Smaller holes are good too – providing nest holes for various birds and roosts for bats. The population of Great Spotted Woodpeckers has increased 400% since the late 60s due to a number of factors, including more available nest sites. Nest sites are important to hole dwelling birds. In Sweden half of their Red Listed birds are hole-nesters who are declining due to a lack of tree holes. Meanwhile, Swifts, House Martins and Sparrows are all finding it difficult in the UK as people close holes in buildings.