On the scale of "rare to common", the word "local" is used to describe species that are not widespread but, where they do occur, they thrive. Consider the woolly thistle. Although apparently frequent in the south midlands, and despite plenty of apparently good habitat on the downs, it only grows in a few isolated places here. But where it does occur, it seems to do well.
Ragged robin is probably common to many, but on my rambles over the parched landscapes of East Kent, it is rarely seen. I see more of its relative, the Nottingham catchfly, which is local bordering on rare.
We are lucky to have a few colonies of marsh helleborines, which are at their best at the moment. A rare plant, or just local? Looking at NBN Gateway, sites are scattered throughout England, Wales and Ireland, with fewer in Scotland.
In the avian world, the same applies. We see flocks of 20 or so corn buntings every winter in the same place, and hear the jingling call every summer, but only in favoured areas. They have their chosen habitat, and are very rarely seen away from it. Perhaps Warren in the heart of the weald could tell us how many records he has of corn buntings over the years?
Another case in point, paragliders chose their habitat carefully, needing a combination of wind, steep hillside and soft-landing area. Chose the wrong habitat, and they would have more than their bums in a sling.