Birdlife of Maidenhead and Cookham Commons

The commons of Maidenhead and Cookham offer a diverse range of habitats that attract a variety of birds of all shapes and sizes. Why not have a wander through the Winter Hill Road Woods keeping your eyes peeled for Woodcock, or see if you can spot a Kingfisher perching above the pond at Cookham Moor.

The commons are home to a wide range of differing habitat types, from coppice woodland, to floodplains and woodland glades, all of which provide a home for a plethora of species.

Common birds and raptors

Common birds found across the commons include Robins, Blue tits, Magpies and the Eurasian Jay . Red kites are also now a common and welcome site in the area after the highly successful reintroduction of Welsh Red kites to Buckinghamshire in 1989. This iconic raptor has seen a meteoric increase in numbers in the local area, and can often be spotted in the skies above many of the commons.

Red kite rinding the thermals over Cock Marsh
Red kite flying over Cock Marsh

Many other open spaces across the commons are also great places to spot raptors, with soaring buzzards commonplace over Winter Hill, and kestrels often seen hovering above Pinkneys Green and Pinkneys Drive on quieter days.

Woodland wonders

In recent years woodland adapted birds such as the Goldcrest and Woodcock  have both been spotted or heard within Maidenhead Thicket and Winter Hill Road Woods. Both Great tit and Lon-tailed tits can also be found in these wooded areas, as can the occasional Treecreeper.

Nuthatch perched on branches

Our annual dawn chorus walks at Maidenhead Thicket have come across both the Firecrest and Goldcrest in recent years, along with other species that are uncommon in the area like the Great spotted woodpecker.

Water birds

The banks of the River Thames at Cock Marsh are a great place from which to witness the acrobatic prowess of the swift. This summer visitor plucks small insects from the air at high speeds and even drinks on the wing by skimming water from the surface of the river.

Great crested grebes on the Thames
Great crested grebes on the River Thames, Cock Marsh, Berkshire

The hustle and bustle of Cookham Moor car park might seem like an unlikely place from which to watch birds, however the site is a great place from which to see kingfishers and little egret feeding in the Strand Water.  Similarly, the pond at North Town Moor is home to coot and moorhen that find shelter in the reed beds at the water’s edge.

Coot at North Town Moor pond
Coot, North Town Moor