No. 44 Watch a bird
Birds can be shy or timid. You'll need to be as quiet as a mouse while you keep a look out for our feathered friends. What birds will you see when you complete no. 44 of our '50 things to do before you're 11¾'? Here are some tips and tricks for a successful bird-watching experience.
Where will you go?
You don't need to go anywhere special to start your birdwatching, there are birds everywhere; in cities, gardens, parks, rivers, farms, towns, lakes, mountains and near the coast. You could try looking somewhere easy and close to your home first, so maybe your back garden or local park, and then move on to other places if you want to see different birds.
Be as quiet as you can
Birds get frightened off really easily, so you'll need to be as quiet as you can, and not make any loud noises or sudden movements to stand the best chance of spotting lots.
Sit tight and wait
If you've found somewhere you can sit and hide while you wait for birds, then you'll probably be even more successful at spotting them. A lot of birds can be quite shy, but you can help encourage them to visit by leaving out food like nuts and seeds.
What might you spot?
Nearly 600 different types of birds have been seen in the UK, so you're pretty much guaranteed to spot something, from a robin to a magpie, a long tailed tit to a jackdaw or a duck, pheasant or swan.
With so many different birds, you'll probably need a book or website to help you work out what you're seeing. Take a look at our handy list below to get you started.
Record what you spot
If the birds are a long way from you, then a pair of binoculars will help you to see them close-up without getting too close. You could also take photos of the birds you see, or draw a picture to remind you what you've seen.
Meet some special birds
If you really want to see lots of interesting or unsual birds when you go out birdwatching, there are special places such as Wildfowl and Wetland Trust sites around the UK that you can visit to go birdwatching. There are also places to meet birds of prey too.
What birds will you spot?
Will you spy sea birds - like seagulls, puffins, terns and cormorants?
Garden and hedgerow birds
Look out for garden and hedgerow birds like robins, blue tits, magpies, sparrows and pigeons. You might also spot goldfinches, long-tailed tits or shy little wrens.
Birds of prey
You might be able to pick out buzzards, red kites and kestrels hovering overhead while they look for prey.
Game and field birds
Male pheasants with their beautiful coloured heads are usually easy to spot in fields or country lanes, around dusk. Grouse are smaller, and have brown feathers.
River, canal and lake birds
Ducks, swans, dippers, kingfishers, herons - the list goes on. There are lots of birds that make their home near water. Seeing a bright bluey-green kingfisher is a real treat.