Birds that call Stoneywell home

A blue tit eyeing up his new prospective home at Stoneywell

Stoneywell is home to lots of birds and provides a haven for bird spotters. During your visit, take some time out to see who may be making the most of the seeds on one of the bird feeders, or is flying from tree to tree in the woods.

The blue tit, or cyanistes caeruleus to use its Latin name, is one of the most easily recognisable birds found in the gardens and woodland at Stoneywell. Often spotted on the bird feeders outside the cottage and the tearoom, blue tits' yellow breasts and blue caps make them easy to identify. Look out for any with yellow cheeks inside of white - this indicates their youth. Famed for their skill, a blue tit can often been seen clinging upside down on branches when looking for food.

A bluetit returns to the nestbox with his meal
A blue tit
A bluetit returns to the nestbox with his meal

The great spotted woodpecker (dendrocopos major), a distinctive bird about the size of a blackbird, is easily identified by its distinctive black and white patterning – males also sport a red patch on the back of their head. Despite this prominent plumage the great spotted woodpecker will try to stay hidden in woodland. The male of the species is well-known for drumming its bill against a branch; this typically lasts only a few seconds and comprises of 8 to 12 beats before fading away. The great spotted woodpecker is particularly fond of peanuts and may venture from the trees when tempted by nuts and has been spotted on the bird feeder by the cottage.

A male great spotted woodpecker in Stoneywell woods
A male woodpecker in the woods
A male great spotted woodpecker in Stoneywell woods
 

The barn swallow, (hirundo rustica) is a small bird with a dark blue back, red throat, pale breast and distinctive long tail streamers. One of 83 species of swallow in the UK, Stoneywell’s barn swallow is the breed found throughout the Northern Hemisphere including every European country except Iceland. They are extremely agile in flight and spend most of their time in the air. The swallow is called 'the bird of freedom' because it cannot endure captivity and will only mate in the wild. Swallows can often be found dipping in and out of their nest in the stableyard, with babies often heard chirping awaiting a food delivery!

Two swallows perched on the edge of the stables guttering.
Two swallows perched on the edge of the stables guttering.
Two swallows perched on the edge of the stables guttering.
 
 
Many other birds have also been spotted here, including sparrowhawks, buzzards, song thrushes, willow tits, cuckoos, nuthatches and many more. Why not come along to Stoneywell and tell us which birds you see!