Top tips for birdwatching
Confused between a robin and a redwing? Can't tell the difference between a blackbird or a blue tit? Follow our nature and wildlife expert Matthew Oates top tips for birdwatching and learn how to identify wild birds in your garden and outdoors.
Get yourself a pair of binoculars. It takes a while to learn to use them but they make all the difference, helping you to see birds at a distance. This is important as many birds are shy don’t like people getting close to them.
That sounds scary, and it does take ages, but many small songbirds are easier to hear than see – and their voices travel far and are quite distinctive. Try our audio guide to birdsong to help identify the birds by their song, or try making the sounds yourself with our how to guide on birdsong. Start with garden birds, and learn the easy ones first. Leave the difficult ones 'til later.
There are loads of good books and websites, but the best help will come from other birders, who are always keen to help – for they were beginners once. Birders are easy to spot - just look for the binoculars, cameras and camouflage...
Birdwatching is one of our 50 Things to do before you're 11¾ so why not sign up for the challenge and start here. There are loads more things to tick off once you've got started.