Spot a bird

Children bird watching

Whether you’re listening to the local robin proclaim its territory or are lucky enough to have a great spotted woodpecker visit your peanut feeder, watching the enchanting antics of the local birdlife can be fascinating.

What to look out for:

Blue tit


Look out for the blue top to its head, a black stripe through the eye and a bright yellow chest. Like most birds, blue tits can see ultra-violet (UV) light and to them the blue crown on their heads glows brightly.

A blue tit sitting on a branch
A blue tit sitting on a branch
A blue tit sitting on a branch

Great tit


Key features are a black head and the yellow chest with a thick black line running down the middle. In males the stripe is thicker, and females find males with the thickest stripes most attractive.

Great tits are one of many resident British birds you'll find in our outdoor spaces
Great tit perched in a tree
Great tits are one of many resident British birds you'll find in our outdoor spaces

Coal tit

Mainly grey and white, look out for the white patch at the back of its neck as this distinguishes it from marsh and willow tits (which are very hard to tell apart!)

Keep a lookout in the parkland and gardens - this little coal tit won't sit still for long
Coal tit on branch in Charlecote Park parkland
Keep a lookout in the parkland and gardens - this little coal tit won't sit still for long

Robin

Look out for their bright red chests. These birds sing nearly all year round to show neighbouring robins that this is their territory. 

A robin at The Vyne, Hampshire
A robin at The Vyne, Hampshire
A robin at The Vyne, Hampshire

Pied wagtail

This common bird is often overlooked; but watch as it darts over the ground picking up insects, rarely slowing down and with its tail frantically wagging when it does.

The pied wagtail is lovely little bird
Pied Wagtail in December
The pied wagtail is lovely little bird

Tree sparrow

Smaller than the more common house sparrow with a chestnut brown head instead of grey. Both sparrow species have suffered severe declines since the 1970s.

You can identify the tree sparrow by its black cheek patch
A tree sparrow on a branch at Yorkshire Coast
You can identify the tree sparrow by its black cheek patch

Chaffinch

Look for these on the ground around the bird feeders. Males have lovely red chests, the females are much duller to keep them camouflaged against the woodland floor.

Chaffinches are common but colourful birds
Chaffinch
Chaffinches are common but colourful birds

Nuthatch

Distinctive birds with blue-grey backs and orangey chests, with a black stripe through the eye.

A nuthatch climbing a moss covered tree
Nuthatch climbing moss covered tree
A nuthatch climbing a moss covered tree

Buzzard

Look up to spot this bird as it soars high in the sky using thermals to gain height without using extra energy. Listen out for its distinctive mewing call.

Buzzard in flight
Buzzard in flight
Buzzard in flight

Great spotted woodpecker

Consider yourself lucky if you spot a woodpecker, they are very good at hiding from view on the back of tree trunks.

Great spotted woodpecker (female)
Great spotted woodpecker (female)
Great spotted woodpecker (female)

Woodpigeon

The UK's largest and commonest pigeon is largely grey with a white neck patch and white wing patches. Listen out for its repetitive call.

Woodpigeon
Woodpigeon
Woodpigeon