Bird Species Photo Gallery

Bird Species Photo Gallery

(click on an image to enlarge it)


Barn Owl (Tyro alba)
The barn owl is widely distributed across the UK, and the world. The bird has suffered declines over the past fifty years as a result of the degradation of prey-rich habitats in the face of intensive agricultural practices. This decline has halted in many areas and the population may now be increasing.

Black Grouse (Tetrao tetrix)
The black grouse is found mainly in areas upland moorland and hill farms, often near forestry plantations, in Wales, the Pennines and most of Scotland. They have traditional 'lek' sites where the males display.

Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
The bullfinch can be found in woodlands, orchards and hedgerows. Best looked for at woodland edges - usually located by its mournful call. It feeds voraciously of the buds of various trees in spring and were once a 'pest' of fruit crops. Recent declines place it on the Red List.

Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra)
This lowland farmland bird is the largest of the buntings and is most usually seen perched on a wire or post. It is a stout, dumpy bird brown which flies off with a fluttering flight and with its legs characteristically 'dangling'. Its dramatic population decline in the UK makes it a Red List species.

Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)
The crossbill is often encountered in noisy family groups or larger flocks, usually flying cloe to treetop height. It feeds acrobatically, fluttering from cone to cone. Adult males are a distinctive brick-red and females greenish-brown. Established breeding areas include the Scottish Highlands, the North Norfolk coast, Breckland, the New Forest and the Forest of Dean. It regularly comes down to pools to drink.

Curlew (Numenius arquata)
The curlew is the largest European wading bird, instantly recognisable on winter estuaries or summer moors with its long down-curved bill, brown upperparts and long legs. There have been worrying breeding declines in many areas largely due to loss of habitat through agricultural intensification. It is included on the Amber List as a bird with important breeding and wintering populations in the UK.

Dartford Warbler (Sylvia undata)
The Dartford Warbler is resident in the UK and has suffered in the past from severe winters. Its population crashed to a few pairs in the 1960s, since when it has gradually recovered, increasing in both numbers and range. It is still regarded as an Amber List species. It will perch on top of a gorse stem to sing, but is often seen as a small flying shape bobbing between bushes. It can be found on lowland heathland with gorse and heather in Dorset, Devon, Suffolk, Surrey and the New Forest.

Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)
In summer golden plovers inhabit upland moorlands in the Southern Uplands and Highlands of Scotland, the Western and Northern Isles, the Peak District, North Yorkshire, Wales and Devon. In winter they move to lowland fields, forming large flocks, often in the company of lapwings.

Hen Harrier (Circus Cyaneus)
The hen harrier lives in open areas with low vegetation. In the breeding season UK birds are to be found on the upland heather moorlands of Wales, Northern England, N Ireland and Scotland (as well as the Isle of Man). In winter they move to lowland farmland, heathland, coastal marshes, fenland and river valleys, mainly in eastern and south-east England. Of the UK's birds of prey, this is the most intensively persecuted. Once predating free-range fowl, earning its present name, its perceived affect on grouse populations is the cause of modern conflict and threatens its survival in some parts of the UK. See also English Nature's Hen harrier in England (IN7.8)

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
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 in the last 25 years and is an Amber List' species because of the importance of its UK wintering population. Lapwings are found on farmland throughout the UK particularly in lowland areas of northern England, the Borders and eastern Scotland. In the breeding season prefer spring sown cereals, root crops, permanent unimproved pasture, meadows and fallow fields. They can also be found on wetlands with short vegetation. In winter they flock on pasture and ploughed fields. The highest known winter concentrations of lapwings are found at the Somerset Levels, Humber and Ribble estuaries, Breydon Water/Berney Marshes, the Wash, and Morecambe Bay.

Linnet (Carduelis cannabina)
The linnet is widespread across the UK, with concentrations along the east coast from Kent to Aberdeenshire but they are scarce in upland regions and north west Scotland. It can be found on commons, heathland, rough ground, farmland hedges, saltmarshes and in parks and gardens. Now it is declining, in common with many other birds which use farmland, and is a Red List species.

Partridge (Perdix perdix)
The partridge is traditionally found in lowland arable areas of Great Britain from the chalk areas in the south, into East Anglia, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, reaching into the north of England and the East of Scotland as far as Aberdeenshire. There are small populations in other parts such as the permanent rushy pastures in the north Pennines. They are largely absent from N Ireland.  Once very common and widespread, it has undergone serious declines throughout most of its range and is a Red List species.

Redshank (Tringa totanus)
The redshank is an abundant and widespread wading bird on coasts. Inland, you can look for it at reserves where there is wet grassland for it breed and feed on, especially in the northern half of the UK.  The greatest concentrations of breeding birds are in parts of Scotland and north-west England. In winter, as many as half of the birds in Britain may be from Iceland. The numbers breeding on farmland are declining, due to drainage of farmland. Overgrazing of coastal marshes is also removing breeding habitat and breeding birds are increasingly dependent on nature reserves.

Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)
The reed bunting is typically found in wet vegetation but has recently spread into farmland and, in winter, into gardens. When singing the male is usually perched on top of a bush, or reed.  This bird suffered a serious population decline making it a Red List species.

Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus)
Ring ouzels can be found in upland areas of Scotland, northern England, north west Wales and Dartmoor. When on spring and autumn migration they may be seen away from their breeding areas, often on the east and south coasts of the UK where they favour short grassy areas.  They tend to be shyer than other thrushes, although they will often associate with them after the breeding season. Their recent population decline make them a Red List species.

Skylark (Alauda arvensis)
The Skylark is found everywhere in the UK. It likes open countryside, from lowland farmland to upland moorland. Often inconspicuous on the ground, it is easy to see when in its distinctive song flight. Its recent and dramatic population declines make it a Red List species.

Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)
Snipe are widespread as a breeding species in the UK, with particularly high densities on northern uplands but lower numbers in southern lowlands (especially south west England). In winter, birds from northern Europe join resident birds. The UK population of snipe has undergone moderate declines overall in the past twenty-five years, with particularly steep declines in lowland wet grassland, making it an Amber List species. During the breeding season snipe are best looked for on moorland, especially on early spring mornings when males can be heard giving their 'drumming' or 'bleating' display. In winter, it may be found around the edges of pools in well-vegetated wetlands.

Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)
The song thrush is a familiar and popular garden songbird whose numbers are declining seriously, especially on farmland making it a Red List species. 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.

Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)
The Spotted Flycatcher can be found throughout the UK during the breeding season, although they are scarce in the far north and west and almost absent from Scottish islands. High densities are found from Devon and Kent as far north as the Dornoch Firth. Best looked for along woodland edges and in parks and gardens. They like to perch conspicuously and watch for passing insects, flying out to snap them up, before returning to the perch. Recent dramatic population declines puts the spotted flycatcher high on the Red List.

Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
The tree sparrow is mainly a bird of open farmland with hedgerows and free-standing trees or small isolated woods. It also inhabits disused quarries, coastal cliffs with ivy, or large gardens, especially where nest boxes are provided. In winter, local flocks may form where food is abundant, especially of agricultural land. In Scotland they favour stubble and weedy turnip fields. The tree sparrow is scarcer in the uplands, and the far north and west of the UK. The main populations are now found across the Midlands, southern and eastern England. It is almost absent from the south west, Wales and the north west. Best looked for in hedgerows and woodland edges.

Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur)
The turtle dove is mainly a bird of southern and eastern England, although it does reach as far as Wales. Best looked for in woodland edges, hedgerows and open land with scattered bushes. It has become increasingly rare following substantial population declines which make it a Red List species.

Twite (Carduelis flavirostris)
In the UK twite breed mainly in areas of rough, unenclosed, grazing land between moorland and farmland. Scottish twite also breed in mountain habitats, including corries, and on coastal heath, while Irish twite often breed on coastal grassland and heath. In the south Pennines, nests are mainly in tall heather or among mounds of bracken litter towards the moorland edge, often close to streams or gullies. Flocks of up to 1,000 birds occur on saltmarsh, beaches, fields of turnip, rape or other stubbles and roosting in reedbeds or brambles. The saltmarshes of south east England are particularly important.

Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)
The yellowhammer is found across the UK but are least abundant in the north and west, and absent from some upland areas, such as the Pennines and Highlands of Scotland, as well as some lowland areas, such as the Inner Hebrides and the Orkneys. It favours open country - farmland with hedgerows and bushes, heaths, commons and in areas of scrubland. Its recent population decline make it a Red List species.

Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis)
The Meadow Pipit is resident in north-west Europe.It is the commonest pipit in western Europe as well as being one of the smallest. It is a ground-dweller and inhabits open, vegetated areas and is often seen perched on bushes, fence posts and stone walls. It has a distinctive song-flight, ascending from the ground or perch with fluttering wings and spread tail then descending almost like a parachute.


Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus)
Nightjars are nocturnal birds and can be seen hawking for food at dusk and dawn. Found on heathlands, moorlands, in open woodland with clearings, and in recently felled conifer plantations. Most numerous in southern England with good numbers in the New Forest, Dorset and Surrey heathlands, and Thetford forest in Suffolk. Nightjars need bare ground to nest on and find this on heathland, commons and moors, as well as open woodland. They regularly use recently felled conifer plantations where the new planting has not grown up yet.


Woodlark (Lullula arborea)
It is a streaky brown bird, with a buffy-white eye-stripe which meets across the nape. Some UK breeding birds spend the winter on the Continent. Recent population declines make it a Red List species. Found breeding mainly in eastern and southern England - the New Forest, Surrey/Berkshire heaths, Breckland and some Suffolk heaths are the best areas to find them.

Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis)
The green woodpecker is the largest of the three woodpeckers that breed in Britain. Found mainly in broad-leaved (deciduous)woodland where it nests in mature trees in the bottom of a specially dug out hole on the trunk or a main branch. Will use mature conifers occasionally. Mainly a lowland species that breeds in open deciduous woodland, parks, orchards and farmland in England, Wales and Scotland.


Bittern (Botaurus stellaris)
The Bittern is one of the UKs rarest breeding birds. The main breeding strongholds are in Lancashire and East Anglia. During very cold winters there are often small influxes from the continent.
Bitterns have very distinct habitat requirements. The favoured wetlands have extensive areas of the Common Reed (Phragmites autralis) and other strong tall vegetation. The reed beds must be wet with, preferably, mere-and-ditch systems to provide feeding opportunities. The creation of pools and dykes tends to improve conditions for the Bitterns main prey of fish and amphibians - in particular eels, Rudd and Sticklebacks. These birds have large home ranges and typically require areas of 10-20 hectares.
They are shy and secretive, with cryptic plumage that blends well into it's reedy home. They are more often heard than seen and their deep booming song is often likened to the sound produced by blowing across the top of an empty milk bottle.


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