Thanks to our fantastic members who have reported their sightings, we have compiled a list of the birds that have been spotted in the Hucknall area between 2019 and 2022.

Unfortunately several of the birds here are on the RSPB red and amber lists which means that their numbers are of concern.

Please help us by reporting all sightings, no matter how insignificant you may feel they are to, or by filling in the survey form.

An A – Z (or B – Y) of birds seen around Hucknall


Barn Owl

With heart-shaped face, buff back and wings and pure white underparts, the barn owl is a distinctive and much-loved countryside bird. Widely distributed across the UK, and indeed the world, this bird has suffered declines through the 20th century and is thought to have been adversely affected by organochlorine pesticides such as DDT in the 1950s and ’60s.

Scientific Name: Tyto alba

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Mice, voles, small birds and some larger mammals.

Size: length 33 – 39 cm, wingspan 80 – 95 cm, weight 250 – 350 g

UK Population: 4000 pairs

Last Sighting: 29-11-22


The males live up to their name but, confusingly, females are brown often with spots and streaks on their breasts. The bright orange-yellow beak and eye-ring make adult male blackbirds one of the most striking garden birds. One of the most common UK birds, its mellow song is also a favourite.

Scientific Name: Turdus merula

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Insects, worms, berries and fruit.

Size: length 24 – 24 cm, wingspan 35 – 39 cm, weight 80 – 100 g

UK Population: 5M+ pairs

Last Sighting: 7-2-23


The blackcap is a distinctive greyish warbler, the male has a black cap, and the female a chestnut one. Its delightful fluting song has earned it the name ‘northern nightingale’. Although primarily a summer visitor birds from Germany and north-east Europe are increasingly spending the winter in the UK.

Scientific Name: Sylvia atricapilla

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Insects and berries.

Size: length 13 cm, wingspan 20 – 23 cm, weight 21 g

UK Population: 1.2M territories

Last Sighting: 11-2-23

Black Headed Gull

Not really a black-headed bird, more chocolate-brown – in fact, for much of the year, it has a white head. It is most definitely not a ‘seagull’ and is found commonly almost anywhere inland. Black-headed gulls are sociable, quarrelsome, noisy birds, usually seen in small groups or flocks, often gathering into larger parties where there is plenty of food, or when they are roosting.

Scientific Name: Chroicocephalus ridibundus

UK Conservation Status: Amber

Food: Worms, insects, carrion and fish.

Size: length 34 – 37 cm cm, wingspan 100 – 110 cm, weight 200 – 400 g

UK Population: 140,000 pairs

Last Sighting: 26-11-22

Blue Tit

A colourful mix of blue, yellow, white and green makes the blue tit one of our most attractive and most recognisable garden visitors. In winter, family flocks join up with other tits as they search for food. A garden with four or five blue tits at a feeder at any one time may be feeding 20 or more.

Scientific Name: Cyanistes caeruleus

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Caterpillars, insects, seeds and nuts

Size: length 12 cm, wingspan 18 cm, weight 11 g

UK Population: 3.6M territories

Last Sighting: 7-2-23


Similar in size and shape to the chaffinch, the male brambling has a black head in summer, and an orange breast with white belly. In flight it shows a long white rump. Gregarious in winter, it may form flocks of many thousands and often joins with chaffinches. Numbers can vary between winters depending on food supplies.

Scientific Name: Fringilla montifringilla

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Seeds and insects

Size: length 14 cm, wingspan 25 – 26 cm, weight 24 g

UK Population: 1.8M during winter

Last Sighting:


The male bullfinch is unmistakable with his bright pinkish-red breast and cheeks, grey back, black cap and tail, and bright white rump. The flash of the rump in flight and piping whistled call are usually the first signs of bullfinches being present. They feed voraciously on the buds of various trees in spring and were once a ‘pest’ of fruit crops.

Scientific Name: Pyrrhula pyrrhula

UK Conservation Status: Amber

Food: Insects and seeds.

Size: length 14 – 17 cm, wingspan 22 – 26 cm, weight 21 – 27g

UK Population: 190,000

Last Sighting: 9-2-23


Now the commonest and most widespread UK bird of prey. The buzzard is quite large with broad, rounded wings, and a short neck and tail. When gliding and soaring it will often hold its wings in a shallow ‘V’ and the tail is fanned. Buzzards are variable in colour from all dark brown to much paler variations, all have dark wingtips and a finely barred tail.

Scientific Name: Buteo buteo

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Small mammals, birds and carrion

Size: length 51 – 57 cm, wingspan 113 – 128 cm, weight 550 – 1300 g

UK Population: 57,000 to 79,000 pairs

Last Sighting: 1-2-23


Canada Goose

The canada goose is a large goose, with a distinctive black head and neck and large white throat patch. An introduced species from North America, it has successfully spread to cover most of the UK. It forms noisy flocks and is often regarded as a nuisance in areas where large numbers occur on amenity grassland and parks.

Scientific Name: Branta canadensis

UK Conservation Status: Introduced

Food: Grass, roots, leaves and seeds

Size: length 90 – 110 cm, wingspan 1.5 – 1.8m, weight 4 – 5 kg

UK Population: 62,000 – 95,000 pairs

Last Sighting: 20-10-22

Carrion Crow

The all-black carrion crow is one of the cleverest, most adaptable of our birds. It is often quite fearless, although it can be wary of man. They are fairly solitary, usually found alone or in pairs, although they may form occasional flocks.

Carrion crows will come to gardens for food and although often cautious initially, they soon learn when it is safe, and will return repeatedly to take advantage of whatever is on offer.

Scientific Name: Corvus corone

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Seeds, fruit, eggs, insects, worms and scraps of food

Size: length 45 – 47 cm, wingspan 93 – 104 cm, weight 370 – 650 g

UK Population: 1M territories

Last Sighting: 7-2-23


The chaffinch is one of the most widespread and abundant bird in Britian and Ireland. Its patterned plumage helps it to blend in when feeding on the ground and it becomes most obvious when it flies, revealing a flash of white on the wings and white outer tail feathers. It does not feed openly on bird feeders – it prefers to hop about under the bird table or under the hedge. You’ll usually hear chaffinches before you see them, with their loud song and varied calls.

Scientific Name: Fringilla coelebs

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Insects and seeds.

Size: length 14 cm, wingspan 24 – 29 cm, weight 18 – 29 g

UK Population: 6M

Last Sighting: 7-2-23


The chiffchaff is a small olive-brown warbler which actively flits through trees and shrubs, with a distinctive tail-wagging movement.

Although not always the case, chiffchaffs often have dark legs and a short pale eye stripe,. It is readily distinguished by its song, from where it gets its name.

It picks insects from trees and also flies out to snap them up in flight.

Scientific Name: Phylloscopus collybita

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Insects

Size: length 10 – 11 cm, wingspan 15 – 21 cm, weight 6 – 10 g

UK Population: 1.2M territories

Last Sighting: 27-7-22

Coal Tit

Not as colourful as some of its relatives, the coal tit has a distinctive grey back, black cap, and white patch at the back of its neck. Its smaller, more slender bill than blue or great tits means it can feed more successfully in conifers. A regular visitor to most feeders, they will take and store food for eating later.

In winter they join with other tits to form flocks which roam through woodlands and gardens in search of food.

Scientific Name: Periparus ater

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Insects,nuts and seeds.

Size: length 1 cm, wingspan 17 – 21 cm, weight 8 – 10 g

UK Population: 680,000 territories

Last Sighting: 7-2-23

Collared Dove

Collared doves are a pale, pinky-brown grey colour, with a distinctive black neck collar (as the name suggests). They have deep red eyes and reddish feet. Their monotonous cooing will be a familiar sound to many of you. Although you’ll often see them on their own or in pairs, flocks may form where there is a lot of food available.

Scientific Name: Streptopelia decaocto

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Grain, seed, buds and shoots

Size: length 32 cm, wingspan 50 – 53 cm, weight 200 g

UK Population: 1M pairs

Last Sighting: 1-2-23

Common Redpoll

The common (or mealy) redpoll is a small finch. It is larger and paler than the very similar lesser redpoll. It is streaky brown above and whitish below with black streaks, and shows two white lines on the folded wing. It doesn’t breed in the UK, but is a passage migrant and winter visitor, particularly to the east coast.

Scientific Name: Acanthis flammea

UK Conservation Status: Amber

Food: Small seeds and insects

Size: length 12 – 14 cm, wingspan 20 – 25 cm, weight 12 – 16 g

UK Population: 1 – 4 pairs

Last Sighting:


The cuckoo is a dove-sized bird with blue grey upper parts, head and chest with dark barred white under parts. With their sleek body, long tail and pointed wings they are not unlike kestrels or sparrowhawks. Sexes are similar and the young are brown. They are summer visitors and well-known brood parasites, the females laying their eggs in the nests of other birds, especially meadow pipits, dunnocks and reed warblers. Their recent population decline makes this a Red List species.

Scientific Name: Cuculus canorus

UK Conservation Status: Red

Food: Insects.

Size: length 32 – 34 cm, wingspan 55 – 65 cm, weight 100 – 135 g

UK Population: 15,000 pairs.

Last Sighting:



The dunnock is a small brown and grey bird. Quiet and unobtrusive, it is often seen on its own, creeping along the edge of a flower bed or near to a bush, moving with a rather nervous, shuffling gait, often flicking its wings as it goes. When two rival males come together they become animated with lots of wing-flicking and loud calling.

Scientific Name: Prunella modularis

UK Conservation Status: Amber

Food: Insects, spiders worms and seeds.

Size: length 14 cm, wingspan 19 – 21 cm, weight 19 – 24 g

UK Population: 2.3M territories

Last Sighting: 7-2-23



Fieldfares are large, colourful thrushes, much like a mistle thrush in general size, shape and behaviour. They stand very upright and move forward with purposeful hops. They are very social birds, spending the winter in flocks of anything from a dozen or two to several hundred strong. These straggling, chuckling flocks which roam the UK’s countryside are a delightful and attractive part of the winter scene.

Scientific Name: Turdus pilaris

UK Conservation Status: Red

Food: Insects, worms and berries.

Size: length 25 cm, wingspan 39 – 42 cm, weight 80 – 130 g

UK Population: –

Last Sighting: 30-1-23



The gadwall is a very grey-coloured dabbling duck, a little smaller than the mallard, and with an obvious black rear end. It shows a white wing patch in flight. When seen close up the grey colour is made up of exquisitely fine barring and speckling.

Scientific Name: Anas strepera

UK Conservation Status: Amber

Food: Leaves and seeds

Size: length 46 – 56 cm, wingspan 84 – 95 cm, weight 650 – 900 g

UK Population: 25,000

Last Sighting: 11-4-22


With the firecrest, the goldcrest is the UK’s smallest bird. They’re dull greyish-green with a pale belly and a black and yellow stripe on their heads, which has an orange centre in males. Their thin beak is ideally suited for picking insects out from between pine needles.

Scientific Name: Regulus regulus

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Small insects, spiders and moth eggs

Size: length 9 cm, wingspan 14 cm, weight 6 g

UK Population: 610,000 territories

Last Sighting: 8-2-23

Golden Plover

The golden plover is a medium-sized plover with a distinctive gold and black summer plumage. In winter the black in replaced by buff and white. They typically stand upright and run in short bursts. Very wary on the breeding grounds. In winter they form large flocks which fly in fairly tight formation with rapid, twinkling wingbeats.

Scientific Name: Pluvialis apricaria

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Insect, worms and beetles.

Size: length 26 – 29 cm, wingspan 67 – 76 cm, weight 160 – 280 g

UK Population: 38,000 – 59,000

Last Sighting: 8-4-22


The goldfinch is a highly coloured finch with a bright red face and yellow wing patch. Sociable, often breeding in loose colonies, they have a delightful liquid twittering song and call. Their long fine beaks allow them to extract otherwise inaccessible seeds from thistles and teasels. Increasingly they are visiting bird tables and feeders. In winter many UK goldfinches migrate as far south as Spain.

Scientific Name: Carduelis carduelis

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Insects and seeds.

Size: length 12 cm, wingspan 21 – 26 cm, weight 14 – 19 g

UK Population: 1.2M pairs

Last Sighting: 1-2-23

Great Spotted Woodpecker

About blackbird-sized and striking black-and-white. It has a very distinctive bouncing flight and spends most of its time clinging to tree trunks and branches, often trying to hide on the side away from the observer. Its presence is often announced by its loud call or by its distinctive spring ‘drumming’ display. The male has a distinctive red patch on the back of the head and young birds have a red crown.

Scientific Name: Dendrocopos major

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Insects, seeds and nuts.

Size: length 22 – 23 cm, wingspan 34 – 39 cm, weight 85 g

UK Population: 140,000 pairs

Last Sighting: 10-8-22

Great Tit

The largest UK tit – green and yellow with a striking glossy black head with white cheeks and a distinctive two-syllable song. It is a woodland bird which has readily adapted to man-made habitats to become a familiar garden visitor. It can be quite aggressive at a bird table, fighting off smaller tits. In winter it joins with blue tits and others to form roaming flocks which scour gardens and countryside for food.

Scientific Name: Parus major

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Insects, seeds and nuts.

Size: length 14 cm, wingspan 24 cm, weight 19 g

UK Population: 2.5M territories

Last Sighting: 7-2-23


Its twittering, wheezing song and flash of yellow and green as it flies, make this finch a truly colourful character. Nesting in a garden conifer, or feasting on black sunflower seeds, the greenfinch is a regular garden visitor, able to take advantage of food in rural and urban gardens. Although quite sociable, they may squabble among themselves or with other birds at the bird table.

Greenfinch populations declined during the late 1970s and early 1980s but increased dramatically during the 1990s.

Scientific Name: Chloris chloris

UK Conservation Status: Red

Food: Insects and seeds.

Size: length 15 cm, wingspan 26 cm, weight 28 g

UK Population: 1.7M pairs

Last Sighting: 7-2-23

Green Woodpecker

The green woodpecker is the largest of the three woodpeckers that breed in Britain. It has a heavy-looking body, short tail and a strong, long bill. It is green on its upperparts with a paler belly, bright yellow rump and red on the top of its head. The black ‘moustache’ has a red centre in males. They have an undulating flight and a loud, laughing call.

Scientific Name: Picus viridis

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Ants

Size: length 30 – 34 cm, wingspan 40 – 42 cm, weight 180 – 225 g

UK Population: 52,000 pairs

Last Sighting: 27-11-22

Grey Heron

Grey herons are unmistakeable: tall, with long legs, a long beak and grey, black and white feathering. They can stand with their neck stretched out, looking for food, or hunched down with their neck bent over their chest.

Scientific Name: Ardea cinerea

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Fish, small birds such as ducklings and small mammals.

Size: length 90 – 98 cm, wingspan 175 – 195 cm, weight 1.5 – 2 Kg

UK Population: 13,000 nests

Last Sighting: 23-1-23

Grey Partridge

The grey partridge is a medium-sized bird with a distinctive orange face. Flies with whirring wings and occasional glides, showing a chestnut tail. It is strictly a ground bird, never likely to be found in pear trees! Groups of 6-15 (known as coveys) are most usually seen outside the breeding season. Once very common and widespread, it has undergone serious declines throughout most of its range and is a Red List species.

Scientific Name: Perdix perdix

UK Conservation Status: Red

Food: Leaves, insects and seeds

Size: length 30 cm, wingspan 46 cm, weight 390 g

UK Population: 37,000 territories

Last Sighting: 24-1-23

Grey Wagtail

The grey wagtail is more colourful than its name suggests with slate grey upper parts and distinctive lemon yellow under-tail. Its tail is noticeably longer than those of pied and yellow wagtails. They have gradually increased their range in the past 150 years and in the UK have expanded into the English lowlands from the northern and western uplands.

Scientific Name: Motacilla cinerea

UK Conservation Status: Amber

Food: Insects

Size: length 18 – 19 cm, wingspan 25 – 27 cm, weight 14 – 22 g

UK Population: 38,000 pairs

Last Sighting: 28-1-23


Herring Gull

Herring gulls are large, noisy gulls found throughout the year around our coasts and inland around rubbish tips, fields, large reservoirs and lakes, especially during winter.

Adults have light grey backs, white under parts, and black wing tips with white ‘mirrors’. Their legs are pink, with webbed feet and they have heavy, slightly hooked bills marked with a red spot. Young birds are mottled brown.

This species is on the red list due to ongoing population declines and wintering population declines.

Scientific Name: Larus argentatus

UK Conservation Status: Red

Food: Carrion, offal, seeds, young birds, small mammals, insects and fish

Size: length 54 – 60 cm, wingspan 130 – 150 cm, weight 690 – 1440 g

UK Population: 140,000 pairs

Last Sighting:


About the size of a kestrel with long pointed wings, reminiscent of a giant swift. It has a dashing flight and will chase large insects and small birds like swallows and martins. Prey is often caught in its talons and transferred to its beak in flight. Can accelerate rapidly in flight and is capable of high-speed aerial manoeuvres.

Scientific Name: Falco subbuteo

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Insects and small birds

Size: length 28 – 36 cm, wingspan 70 – 92 cm, weight 131 – 340 g

UK Population: 2800 pairs

Last Sighting:

House Martin

The house martin is a small bird with glossy blue-black upper parts and pure white under parts. It has a distinctive white rump with a forked tail and, on close inspection, white feathers covering its legs and toes. It spends much of its time on the wing collecting insect prey. The bird’s mud nest is usually sited below the eaves of buildings. They are summer migrants and spend their winters in Africa.

Scientific Name: Delichon urbicum

UK Conservation Status: Red

Food: Insects

Size: length 12 cm, wingspan 26 – 29 cm, weight 15 – 23 g

UK Population: 510,000 pairs

Last Sighting: 1-9-22

House Sparrow

Noisy and gregarious, these cheerful exploiters of man’s rubbish and wastefulness have managed to colonise most of the world. The ultimate avian opportunist perhaps. Monitoring suggests a severe decline in the UK house sparrow population, recently estimated as dropping by 71 per cent between 1977 and 2008 with substantial declines in both rural and urban populations.

Scientific Name: Passer domesticus

UK Conservation Status: Red

Food: Seeds and scraps

Size: length 14 – 15 cm, wingspan 21 – 25.5 cm, weight 24 – 38 g

UK Population: 5,300,000 pairs

Last Sighting: 7-2-23



This is a small, black crow with a distinctive silvery sheen to the back of its head. The pale eyes are also noticeable. The jackdaw call is a familiar hard ‘tchack’ from which it gets its name. It will commonly nest in chimneys, buildings, rock crevices and tree holes.

Scientific Name: Corvus monedula

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Insects, young birds, eggs, fruit, seeds and scraps.

Size: length 34 cm, wingspan 70 cm, weight 220 g

UK Population: 1,400,000 pairs

Last Sighting: 26-11-22


Although they are the most colourful members of the crow family, jays are actually quite difficult to see. They are shy woodland birds, rarely moving far from cover. The screaming call usually lets you know a jay is nearby and it is usually given when a bird is on the move, so watch for a bird flying between the trees with its distinctive flash of white on the rump. Jays are famous for their acorn feeding habits and in the autumn you may see them burying acorns for retrieving later in the winter.

Scientific Name: Garrulus glandarius

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Acorns, nuts, seeds and insects.

Size: length 34 – 35 cm, wingspan 52 – 58 cm, weight 140 – 190 g

UK Population: 170,000 territories

Last Sighting: 30-1-23



Kestrels are a familiar sight with their pointed wings and long tail, hovering beside a roadside verge. Numbers of kestrels have declined since the 1970s, probably as a result of changes in farming and so it is included on the Amber List.

They have adapted readily to man-made environments and can survive right in the centre of cities.

Scientific Name: Falco tinnunculus

UK Conservation Status: Amber

Food: Worms, insects, small mammals and birds

Size: length 32 – 35 cm, wingspan 71 – 80 cm, weight 156 – 250 g

UK Population: 46,000 pairs

Last Sighting: 1-2-23



Also known as the peewit in imitation of its display calls, its proper name describes its wavering flight. Its black and white appearance and round-winged shape in flight make it distinctive, even without its splendid crest. This familiar farmland bird has suffered significant declines recently and is now a Red List species.

Scientific Name: Vanellus vanellus

UK Conservation Status: Red

Food: Worms and insects

Size: length 28 – 31 cm, wingspan 82 – 87 cm, weight 140 – 320 g

UK Population: 140,000 pairs

Last Sighting: 11-4-22

Lesser Redpoll

This tiny finch – only slightly bigger than a blue tit – is streaky and brown with patches of red on its head and sometimes its breast. They like to hang upside down to feed in trees. It has recently been ‘split’ from the mealy (or common) redpoll, a larger and paler species which is a winter visitor to the UK.

Scientific Name: Acanthis cabaret

UK Conservation Status: Red

Food: Seeds

Size: length 11.5 cm, wingspan 20 – 22 cm, weight 9 – 12 g

UK Population: 220,000 pairs

Last Sighting:


A small, slim finch, widely distributed and once very popular as a cage bird because of its melodious song. Males are attractively marked with crimson foreheads and breasts, females much browner. It has an undulating flight, usually twittering as it flies and may be seen in large flocks during the winter.

Scientific Name: Linaria cannabina

UK Conservation Status: Red

Food: Seeds and insects

Size: length 13 cm, wingspan 21 – 26 cm, weight 15 – 22 g

UK Population: 430,000 territories

Last Sighting: 27-7-22

Little Owl

This small owl was introduced to the UK in the 19th century. It can be seen in the daylight, usually perching on a tree branch, telegraph pole or rock. It will bob its head up and down when alarmed. In flight it has long, rounded wings, rapid wingbeats and flies with a slight undulation.

Scientific Name: Athene noctua

UK Conservation Status: Introduced

Food: Beetles, worms, small mammals and birds

Size: length 21 – 23 cm, wingspan 54 – 58 cm, weight 140 – 220 g

UK Population: 5,700 pairs

Last Sighting: 12-7-22

Long Tailed Tit

The long-tailed tit is easily recognisable with its distinctive colouring, a tail which is bigger than its body, and undulating flight. Gregarious and noisy residents, long-tailed tits are most usually noticed in small, excitable flocks of about 20 birds.

Like most tits, they rove the woods and hedgerows, but are also seen on heaths and commons with suitable bushes.

Scientific Name: Aegithalos caudatus

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Insects

Size: length 14 cm, wingspan 16 – 19 cm, weight 7 – 10 g

UK Population: 340,000 territories

Last Sighting: 7-2-23



With its noisy chattering, black-and-white plumage and long tail, there is nothing else quite like the magpie in the UK. When seen close-up its black plumage takes on an altogether more colourful hue with a purplish-blue iridescent sheen to the wing feathers and a green gloss to the tail.

Magpies seem to be jacks of all trades – scavengers, predators and pest-destroyers, their challenging, almost arrogant attitude has won them few friends. Non-breeding birds will gather together in flocks.

Scientific Name: Pica pica

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Omnivore

Size: length 44 – 46 cm, wingspan 52 – 60 cm, weight 200 – 250 g

UK Population: 600,000 territories

Last Sighting: 1-2-23


The mallard is a large and heavy looking duck. It has a long body, and a long and broad bill. The male has a dark green head, a yellow bill, is mainly purple-brown on the breast and grey on the body. The female is mainly brown with an orange bill.

Mallards breed in all parts of the UK in summer and winter, wherever there are suitable wetland habitats, although it is scarcer in upland areas. In the UK, mallards may be resident breeders or migrants – many of the birds that breed in Iceland and northern Europe spend the winter here.

Scientific Name: Anas platyrhynchos

UK Conservation Status: Amber

Food: Seeds, acorns, berries, plants, insects and shellfish

Size: length 51 – 62 cm, wingspan 81 – 98 cm, weight 750 – 1500 g

UK Population: 61,000 – 146,000 pairs

Last Sighting: 29-1-23

Marsh Tit

The marsh tit is a small, mainly brown bird, with a shiny black cap, dark ‘bib’ and pale belly. In the UK its identification is made tricky by the very similar appearance of our race of willow tit. They’re so hard to identify that ornithologists didn’t realise there were two species until 1897!

Scientific Name: Poecile palustris

UK Conservation Status: Red

Food: Insects and seeds

Size: length 11 cm, wingspan 18 – 20 cm, weight 10 – 13 g

UK Population: 41,000 territories

Last Sighting: 7-2-23

Meadow Pipit

A small, brown, streaky bird, the meadow pipit is the most common songbird in upland areas. Its high, piping call is a familiar sound. In flight it shows white outer tail feathers and in the breeding season it has a fluttering ‘parachute’ display flight. In winter, they are quite gregarious and gather in small flocks, often invisible among the vegetation, suddenly flying up with typical jerky flight.

Scientific Name: Anthus pratensis

UK Conservation Status: Amber

Food: Insects, beetles, moths and spiders

Size: length 14.5 cm, wingspan 22 – 25 cm, weight 15 – 22 g

UK Population: 2,000,000 territories

Last Sighting: 27-11-22

Mistle Thrush

The mistle thrush is is a pale, black-spotted thrush – large, aggressive and powerful. It stands boldly upright and bounds across the ground. In flight, it has long wings and its tail has whitish edges. It is most likely to be noticed perched high at the top of a tree, singing its fluty song or giving its rattling call in flight.

Scientific Name: Turdus viscivorus

UK Conservation Status: Red

Food: Worms, slugs, insects and berries

Size: length 27 cm, wingspan 42 – 48 cm, weight 100 – 150 g

UK Population: 170,000 territories

Last Sighting: 24-1-23


Moorhens are blackish with a red and yellow beak and long, green legs. Seen closer-up, they have a dark brown back and wings and a more bluish-black belly, with white stripes on the flanks.

Scientific Name: Gallinula chloropus

UK Conservation Status: Amber

Food: Small fish, fruit, grasses, water plants, seeds, snails and worms.

Size: length 32 – 35 cm, wingspan 50 – 55 cm, weight 250 – 400 g

UK Population: 270,000 pairs

Last Sighting: 27-11-22



The nuthatch is a plump bird about the size of a great tit that resembles a small woodpecker. It is blue-grey above and whitish below, with chestnut on its sides and under its tail. It has a black stripe on its head, a long black pointed bill and short legs.

It breeds throughout England and Wales and has recently began to breed in southern Scotland. It is a resident, with birds seldom travelling far from the woods where they hatch.

Scientific Name: Sitta europaea

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Insects, nuts and seeds

Size: length 14 cm, wingspan 22 – 27 cm, weight 20 – 25 g

UK Population: 220,000 territories

Last Sighting: 27-7-22


Peregrine Falcon

The peregrine is a large and powerful falcon. It has long, broad, pointed wings and a relatively short tail. It is blue-grey above, with a blackish top of the head and an obvious black ‘moustache’ that contrasts with its white face. Its breast is finely barred. It is swift and agile in flight, chasing prey.

The strongholds of the breeding birds in the UK are the uplands of the north and west and rocky seacoasts. Peregrines were at a low point in the 1960s due to human persecution and the impact of pesticides in the food chain. Improved legislation and protection has helped the birds to recover and they have now expanded into many urban areas.

However, they are still persecuted – birds are illegally killed to prevent predation on game birds and racing pigeons. They also have eggs and chicks taken for collections and falconry.

Scientific Name: Falco peregrinus

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Medium size birds

Size: length 39 – 50 cm, wingspan 95 – 115 cm, weight 600 – 1300 g

UK Population: 1,500 pairs

Last Sighting: 27-11-22


Pheasants are large, long-tailed gamebirds. The males have rich chestnut, golden-brown and black markings on their bodies and tails, with a dark green head and red face wattling. Females are mottled with paler brown and black. 

They were introduced to the UK long ago and more recent introductions have brought in a variety of races and breeds for sport shooting.

Scientific Name: Phasianus colchicus

UK Conservation Status: Introduced

Food: Seeds, shoots, grain and insects

Size: length 53 – 89 cm, wingspan 70 – 90 cm, weight 750 – 1700 g

UK Population: 2,4000,000 females

Last Sighting: 29-1-23

Pied Wagtail

The pied wagtail is a delightful small, long-tailed and rather sprightly black and white bird. When not standing and frantically wagging its tail up and down it can be seen dashing about over lawns or car parks in search of food.

It frequently calls when in its undulating flight and often gathers at dusk to form large roosts in city centres.

Scientific Name: Motacilla alba

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Insects

Size: length 18 cm, wingspan 25 – 30 cm, weight 17 – 25 g

UK Population: 470,000 pairs

Last Sighting: 27-11-22



The common raven is a big black bird, a member of the crow family. It is massive – the biggest member of the crow family. It is all black with a large bill, and long wings. In flight, it shows a diamond-shaped tail.

Scientific Name: Corvus corax

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Carrion, mammals, birds, eggs and insects

Size: length 60 – 68 cm, wingspan 120 – 150 cm, weight 800 – 1500 g

UK Population: 7,400 pairs

Last Sighting: 27-11-22

Red Kite

This magnificently graceful bird of prey is unmistakable with its reddish-brown body, angled wings and deeply forked tail. It was saved from national extinction by one of the world’s longest-running protection programmes. It has now been successfully re-introduced to England and Scotland.

Scientific Name: Milvus milvus

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Carrion, worms and occasionally small animals

Size: length 60 – 66 cm, wingspan 175 – 195 cm, weight 800 – 1300 g

UK Population: 4,600 pairs

Last Sighting: 29-1-23

Red Legged Partridge

Larger than the grey partridge, it has a large white chin and throat patch, bordered with black. It has a greyish body with bold black flank stripes and a chestnut-sided tail. It is an introduced species, brought to the UK from continental Europe, where it is largely found in France and Spain.

Scientific Name: Alectoris rufa

UK Conservation Status: Introduced

Food: Seeds and roots

Size: length 32 – 34 cm, wingspan 47 – 50 cm, weight 400 – 550 g

UK Population: 73,000 territories

Last Sighting:


The redwing is most commonly encountered as a winter bird and is the UK’s smallest true thrush. Its creamy strip above the eye and orange-red flank patches make it distinctive.

They roam across the UK’s countryside, feeding in fields and hedgerows, rarely visiting gardens, except in the coldest weather when snow covers the fields. Only a few pairs nest in the UK.

Scientific Name: Turdus iliacus

UK Conservation Status: Amber

Food: Worms and berries

Size: length 21 cm, wingspan 33 – 35 cm, weight 50 – 75 g

UK Population: 13 pairs

Last Sighting: 3-3-22

Reed Bunting

Sparrow-sized but slim and with a long, deeply notched tail, the male has a black head, white collar and a drooping moustache. Females and winter males have a streaked head. In flight the tail looks black with broad, white edges.

Scientific Name: Emberiza schoeniclus

UK Conservation Status: Amber

Food: Seeds and insects

Size: length 15 – 17 cm, wingspan 21 – 28 cm, weight 16 – 25 g

UK Population: 250,000 territories

Last Sighting: 8-4-22


The UK’s favourite bird – with its bright red breast it is familiar throughout the year and especially at Christmas! Males and females look identical, and young birds have no red breast and are spotted with golden brown. Robins sing nearly all year round and despite their cute appearance, they are aggressively territorial and are quick to drive away intruders.

Scientific Name: Erithacus rubecula

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Worms, seeds, fruit, insects

Size: length 14 cm, wingspan 20 – 22 cm, weight 14 – 21 g

UK Population: 6,7000,000 territories

Last Sighting: 7-2-23


Bare, greyish-white face, thinner beak and peaked head make it distinguishable from the carrion crow. Rooks are very sociable birds and you’re not likely to see one on its own. They feed and roost in flocks in winter, often together with jackdaws.

Scientific Name: Corvus frugilegus

UK Conservation Status: Amber

Food: Carrion, worms, grain, nuts, insects, small birds and small mammals

Size: length 44 – 46 cm, wingspan 81 – 99 cm, weight 280 – 340 g

UK Population: 1,100,000 pairs

Last Sighting: 30-1-23



The siskin is a small, lively finch, which is smaller than a greenfinch. It has a distinctly forked tail and a long narrow bill. The male has a streaky yellow-green body and a black crown and bib. There are yellow patches in the wings and tail. It is mainly a resident breeder from southern England to northern Scotland, but is most numerous in Scotland and Wales. Many breeding birds are residents; in winter birds arrive here also from Europe.

Scientific Name: Carduelis spinus

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Seeds and insects

Size: length 12 cm, wingspan 20 – 23 cm, weight 12 – 18 g

UK Population: 410,000 pairs

Last Sighting: 22-3-22


The skylark is a small brown bird, somewhat larger than a sparrow but smaller than a starling. It is streaky brown with a small crest, which can be raised when the bird is excited or alarmed, and a white-sided tail. The wings also have a white rear edge, visible in flight. It is renowned for its display flight, vertically up in the air.

Scientific Name: Alauda arvensis

UK Conservation Status: Red

Food: Seeds and insects

Size: length 18 – 19 cm, wingspan 30 – 36 cm, weight 33 – 45 g

UK Population: 1,500,000 territories

Last Sighting: 21-9-22

Song Thrush

A familiar and popular garden songbird whose numbers have declined markedly on farmland and in towns and cities. It’s smaller and browner than a mistle thrush with smaller spotting. Its habit of repeating song phrases distinguish it from singing blackbirds. It likes to eat snails which it breaks into by smashing them against a stone with a flick of the head.

Scientific Name: Turdus philomelos

UK Conservation Status: Amber

Food: Worms, snails and fruit

Size: length 23 cm, wingspan 33 – 36 cm, weight 65 – 100 g

UK Population: 1,200,000 territories

Last Sighting: 13-2-23


Sparrowhawks are small birds of prey. They’re adapted for hunting birds in confined spaces like dense woodland, so gardens are ideal hunting grounds for them. Adult male sparrowhawks have bluish-grey back and wings and orangey-brown bars on their chest and belly. Females and young birds have brown back and wings, and brown bars underneath. Sparrowhawks have bright yellow or orangey eyes, long, yellow legs and long talons. Females are larger than males, as with all birds of prey.

Scientific Name: Accipiter nisus

UK Conservation Status: Amber

Food: Small birds

Size: length 28 – 38 cm, wingspan 55 – 70 cm, weight 110 – 342 g

UK Population: 35,000 pairs

Last Sighting: 1-2-23

Spotted Flycatcher

At first glance, spotted flycatchers might seem dull brownish-grey and, well, a bit boring. It’s better to think of them as beautiful in an understated way. Watch them for a short period and you’ll be charmed by their fly-catching antics. Spotted flycatchers fly from a high perch, dash out to grab a flying insect and return to the same spot.

Scientific Name: Muscicapa striata

UK Conservation Status: Red

Food: Flying insects

Size: length 14 cm, wingspan 23 – 25 cm, weight 14 – 19 g

UK Population: 36,000 territories

Last Sighting:


Smaller than blackbirds, with a short tail, pointed head, triangular wings, starlings look black at a distance but when seen closer they are very glossy with a sheen of purples and greens.

Their flight is fast and direct and they walk and run confidently on the ground. Noisy and gregarious, starlings spend a lot of the year in flocks.

Still one of the commonest of garden birds, its decline elsewhere makes it a Red List species.

Scientific Name: Sturnus vulgaris

UK Conservation Status: Red

Food: Fruit and invertebrates

Size: length 21 cm, wingspan 37 – 42 cm, weight 75 – 90 g

UK Population: 1,800,000 pairs

Last Sighting: 7-2-23


Stonechats are robin sized birds. Males have striking black heads with white around the side of their neck, orange-red breasts and a mottled brown back. Females lack the male’s black head, but have brown backs and an orange tinge to their chests. Birds are frequently seen flicking their wings while perched, often doing so on the tops of low bushes. As its name suggests, birds utter a sharp loud call that sound like two stones being tapped together. They breed in western and southern parts of the UK, but disperse more widely in winter.

Scientific Name: Saxicola rubicola

UK Conservation Status Green

Food: Seeds, fruit and invertebrates

Size: length 12 cm, wingspan 18 – 21 cm, weight 13 – 17 g

UK Population: 59,000 pairs

Last Sighting: 10-10-22


Swallows are small birds with dark, glossy-blue backs, red throats, pale underparts and long tail streamers. They are extremely agile in flight and spend most of their time on the wing. They are widespread breeding birds in the Northern Hemisphere, migrating south in winter.

Scientific Name: Hirundo rustica

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Small invertebrates

Size: length 17 – 19 cm, wingspan 32 – 35 cm, weight 16 – 25 g

UK Population: 860,000 territories

Last Sighting: 7-6-22


The swift is a medium-sized aerial bird, which is a superb flier. It evens sleeps on the wing! It is plain sooty brown, but in flight against the sky it appears black. It has long, scythe-like wings and a short, forked tail. It is a summer visitor, breeding across the UK, but most numerously in the south and east. It winters in Africa.

Scientific Name: Apus apus

UK Conservation Status: Red

Food: Flying insects

Size: length 16 – 17 cm, wingspan 42 – 48 cm, weight 36 – 50 g

UK Population: 59,000 pairs

Last Sighting:


Tawny Owl

The tawny owl is an owl the size of a woodpigeon. It has a rounded body and head, with a ring of dark feathers around its face surrounding the dark eyes. Tawny owls in the UK are mainly reddish brown above and paler underneath. It is a widespread breeding species in England, Wales and Scotland but not found in Ireland. Birds are mainly residents with established pairs probably never leaving their territories. Young birds disperse from breeding grounds in autumn.

Scientific Name: Strix aluco

UK Conservation Status: Amber

Food: Small mammals, small birds, frogs, insects, fish and worms.

Size: length 37 – 39 cm, wingspan 94 – 104 cm, weight 330 – 590 g

UK Population: 50,000 pairs

Last Sighting: 30-1-23

Tree Sparrow

Smaller than a house sparrow and more active, with its tail often cocked. It has a chestnut brown head and nape (rather than grey) and white cheeks and collar with a contrasting black cheek spot. They are shyer than house sparrows in the UK and are rarely associated with people, although in continental Europe they often nest in buildings just like house sparrows.

Scientific Name: Passer montanus

UK Conservation Status: Red

Food: Insects and seeds

Size: length 14 cm, wingspan 20 – 22 cm, weight 19 – 25 g

UK Population: 200,000 territories

Last Sighting:



The waxwing is a plump bird, which is slightly smaller than a starling. It has a prominent crest. It is reddish-brown with a black throat, a small black mask round its eye, yellow and white in the wings and a yellow-tipped tail. It does not breed in the UK, but is a winter visitor, in some years in larger numbers, called irruptions, when the population on its breeding grounds gets too big for the food available.

Scientific Name: Phylloscopus trochilus

UK Conservation Status: Green

Food: Berries

Size: length 18 cm, wingspan 32 – 35 cm, weight 45 – 70 g

UK Population: 10,000 birds

Last Sighting:


The whitethroat is a medium-sized warbler, about the size of a great tit. It has quite a long tail which it flicks and cocks as it darts rapidly in and out of cover. The male has a grey head, a white throat and a brown back, and is buff underneath.

It is a summer visitor and passage migrant, with birds breeding widely, although it avoids urban and mountainous areas. It winters in Africa, south of the Sahara.

Scientific Name: Curruca communis

UK Conservation Status: Amber

Food: Insects and berries.

Size: length 14 cm, wingspan 18 – 23 cm, weight 12 – 18 g

UK Population: 1,100,000 territories

Last Sighting: 12-8-22

Willow Warbler

Willow warblers are small birds with grey-green backs and pale under parts. They have a yellow tinged chest and throat and pale supercilium (the stripe above the eye). They are separated from the very similar chiffchaff by their song.

Their population, especially in southern Britain, has undergone a moderate decline over the past 25 years making them an Amber List species.

Scientific Name: Phylloscopus trochilus

UK Conservation Status: Amber

Food: Small insects and spiders

Size: length 10 – 12 cm, wingspan 16 – 22 cm, weight 7 – 12 g

UK Population: 2,400,000 territories

Last Sighting: 20-4-22


The woodcock is a large, bulky wading bird with short legs and a very long straight tapering bill. It is largely nocturnal, spending most of the day in dense cover.

Most of the birds in the UK are residents – in the autumn birds move to the UK from Finland and Russia to winter here. The breeding population has been falling in recent years, perhaps because of less habitat as conifer plantations become too mature for woodcocks to find open enough breeding areas.

Scientific Name: Scolopax rusticola

UK Conservation Status: Red

Food: Worms, beetles, caterpillars, spiders and small snails.

Size: length 33 – 35 cm, wingspan 55 – 65 cm, weight 240 – 420 g

UK Population: 55,000 pairs

Last Sighting:


The UK’s largest and commonest pigeon, the woodpigeon is largely grey with a white neck patch and white wing patches, clearly visible in flight.

Although shy in the countryside it can be tame and approachable in towns and cities. Its cooing call is a familiar sound in woodlands as is the loud clatter of its wings when it flies away.

Scientific Name: Columba palumbus

UK Conservation Status: Amber

Food: Crops, buds, shoots, seeds, nuts and berries.

Size: length 40 – 42 cm, wingspan 75 – 80 cm, weight 480 – 550 g

UK Population: 5,400,000 pairs

Last Sighting: 1-2-23


The wren is a tiny brown bird, although it is heavier and not as slim as the even smaller goldcrest. It is dumpy, almost rounded, with a fine bill, quite long legs and toes, very short round wings and a short, narrow tail which is sometimes cocked up vertically. For such a small bird it has a remarkably loud voice.

It is the most common UK breeding bird, although it suffers declines during prolonged, severely cold winters.

Scientific Name: Troglodytes troglodytes

UK Conservation Status: Amber

Food: Insects and spiders.

Size: length 9 – 10 cm, wingspan 13 – 17 cm, weight 7 – 12 g

UK Population: 8,600,000 territories

Last Sighting: 7-2-23



Male yellowhammers are unmistakeable with a bright yellow head and underparts, brown back streaked with black, and chestnut rump. In flight it shows white outer tail feathers. They are often seen perched on top of a hedge or bush, singing.

Scientific Name: Emberiza citrinella

UK Conservation Status: Red

Food: Insects and seeds.

Size: length 16 – 17 cm, wingspan 23 – 30 cm, weight 25 – 36 g

UK Population: 700,000 territories

Last Sighting: 21-9-22