Distribution Britain 674 (1.5%) Ireland 167 (-32.7%)
Numbers breeding: Britain 2,200 Ireland 700
European status: 70,000 (4% in Britain and Ireland =5)
British population trend: gradual expansion
How likely are you to record it? 25 squares (0.6%) Ranked 132[101=]
This species is the smaller of our two breeding sawbills and breeds both on the coast and along rivers and by lakes. By 1900 it was breeding through most of Scotland north of the Lowlands and over much of Ireland, save some of the south-east, but none bred in England or Wales. Birds started to breed in southern Scotland and then in England (in Cumbria 1959) and Wales (Anglesey 1953, mainland 1957). In Ireland it may have declined slightly recently and it is much persecuted, as in parts of Scotland, for perceived damage to salmonid fisheries. It now breeds all over the Lake District and in the Peak District (?100 in England) and North-west Wales (almost 200 pairs). Probably good for further expansion.
Gregory, R.D., Carter, S.P. & Baillie, S.R. 1997 Bird Study: 44, 1-12.
The following Bird On! sketch is available:
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From The State of the Nations Birds
Copyright © 2000 by Chris Mead