Birds at Sticklebarn and The Langdales

Two swallows sitting on a branch
The swallow arrives in Langdale towards the end of March North East Wildlife website

At this time of year the phrase ‘early bird gets the worm’ certainly comes to mind - it's dawn chorus time again as our spring migrants defend their territories and sing to attract a mate. Here’s a list of the birds you’re most likely to hear and see on the fells of Great Langdale this spring and summertime.


The Wheatear is one of the first spring migrants to be seen back on the fell, the average arrival date is 14 March. One of the best spots to see them is between Mickleden and Rossett Ghyll.

Ring Ouzel

Another migrant found on the higher fells, often elusive and given away only by its ‘tac tac’ call. It usually arrives in late March.


Arriving mid-April, the Redstart is a woodland bird that can be difficult to see when the trees are in full leaf. Listen out for its song at Low Wood near High Close YHA and also Stickle Ghyll between the car park and the bridge.

Pied flycatcher

Another attractive woodland bird, arriving around the same time as the common redstart in mid-April.

Willow warbler

This common warbler can be found in most woody areas around the valley, starting in early April.

Chiff chaff

The earliest warbler to arrive back in the valley, its 'chiff-chaff' song can be heard commonly from mid-March onwards.


Swifts can be easily confused with swallows and house martins but look closely, the swift has a distinctive scythe-shaped silhouette and may also be given away by the sound of its screaming call. Commonly seen from late April onwards.


Often heard, but rarely seen. This elusive bird arrives in the valley around mid-April.


One of the harbingers of summer, the swallow arrives in Langdale towards the end of March

Grey wagtail

Although a resident species, the grey wagtail can be seen more frequently in the valley in spring, particularly around water.