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Dordogne Wildlife Diary

  • The advantages of Black Woodpeckers...

    This photo of a fallen tree shows how useful Black Woodpeckers can be in the breakdown process of fallen wood. Their size and power means that they can literally take a tree apart searching for grubs to eat. Once the woodpeckers start many other smaller fauna and fauna lend a hand - in turn attracting animals which feed on them too, and thus enriching the forest.

    The same is true of nesting holes. Black Woodpeckers make several large oval-shaped holes with a deep wide cavity inside. They tend to prefer pine, beech, poplar or plane trees. Those unused or abandoned after nesting are often used by other species for nesting or roosting. In mountainous areas of Europe for example, the small Tengmalm's Owl use these holes.

    With Black Woodpeckers colonising Dordogne over the last twenty or thirty years from the northeast they have doubtless added to the biodiversity of the forests here as they are now widespread and relatively common. However they are always remarkably discrete and difficult to see for a large crow-sized bird capable of making a lot of noise when they want too!

    As Black Woodpeckers are spreading further westward and southward through France these large impressive woodpeckers are spreading a bit of biodiversity wherever they go!


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Welcome to my Dordogne Wildlife Diary

In it you will find regular wildlife sightings in the d├ępartement of Dordogne, notably of birds and butterflies in southern Dordogne where I live. In adddition there will be occasional references to neighbouring d├ępartements such as Lot et Garonne, Gironde, the Lot and places further afield. Check out the Faune-Aquitaine website for the latest wildlife sightings in Dordogne and Aquitaine.

Where possible I will add photographs to illustrate the entry. Many thanks to Margaret Mills (family photo) and Denis Cauchoix (birdwatcher photo).

I hope that you enjoy my diary and look forward to your comments.

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