Garden Safari

We are encouraging you to explore your environment from the comfort and safety of your own home. By day there are birds, insects, animals, plant life that can be studied, and by night look up and you will see an amazing universe above your heads!  In this section though with the help of our friends from Opticron we have come up with a list of ten birds to try and spot from your Garden during the day.  We know that not everyone will have the perfect conditions for this, but we do all have some time on our hands so its a great way of relaxing and discovering what is around you. 

There will be photos of each of these on our Facebook page over the coming days and weeks. You can also click the link below to go to the RSBP website where there is a neat function to help you identify birds and find out more information.

RSBP Identify a Bird

Whilst its not essential, binoculars or a small telescope can help with this activity. If you don't already have suitable binoculars, and would like help choosing a pair, especially for children please feel free to ask us for advice. We are available on Facebook Messenger, or on 01442 822997 and are happy to help.

In the meantime, enjoy hunting for the birds below and stay safe!
1. Blue Tit
One of our most common garden birds. Regularly visits bird feeders and nest boxes. Feeds on Seeds, Nuts and Insects such as caterpillars and small flies. The blue tit is a delicate little bird, weighing in at around 11g – half the size of a robin. Often considered our most attractive garden bird, the blue tit is extremely colorful, with a bright blue cap, white face, black stripes across the eyes, bright yellow breast and blue, green and white wings.
2. Great Tit
A regular common garden bird which has an amazing vocal range. The Great Tit has at least 90 different calls. But probably its most well know is its "Teacher, teacher, teacher" call. Which is usually heard in the spring. Feeds on Seeds, Nuts and Insects such as caterpillars and small flies. The great tit is a colorful bird with greenish-yellow plumage. It has a black head with striking white cheeks and is roughly the same size as a robin.
3. House Sparrow
House sparrows are one of the most familiar birds in the UK. They are very social birds which are often seen in small to large groups. They are small chestnut brown birds with black streaks on their backs. Male house sparrows have grey crowns, cheeks and underparts with a black throat, upper breast and make between the bill and the eyes. They have a white wing bar on the upper wing and a strong black bill, pink legs and feet and dark brown eyes.
Female house sparrows look quite different and are much duller than the males with grey-brown plumage and no head pattern. Her bill is yellow and she has a brown crown.  Feeds on Seeds, Nuts and Insects such as caterpillars and small flies.
4. Woodpigeon
A Large pigeon which has become more and more common as a garden bird in the past decade. It’s one of our only birds which will nest all the year around.  It has a white patch on the neck, pink breast and white marks on wings. Takes off with a clatter of wings. Deep chest noticeable in flight. Feeds on Seeds, Berries, Nuts and Insects such as worms and beetles. Its voice is often heard from a calling bird on top of a tree or house chimney and sounds like a hooh-hrooo, dooh-doo, doo!
5. Robin
Probably, thanks to Christmas cards and their sweet song, our most well-known British Bird. The Robin is a friendly little bird, but be aware if you are another Robin, as they can be very protective of their territories and will often fight others to keep them out. Sometimes to the death! Robins have pale brown crowns, napes and upperparts with a buff white wing bar. Their faces, throats and chest are bright orange-red bordered with grey. Underparts are white with rust colored flanks. Robins have black bills and dark brown eyes. Their legs and feet are pinkish-brown. Male and female adult robins look virtually identical. Juvenile robins have mottled brown plumage with pale underparts. The red breast appears approximately two months after the first mount.
6. Goldfinch
No doubt one of our most colorful birds we get in our gardens. Goldfinches have a distinctive red face with a white patch behind the eye and a black crown and nape. They have a yellow wing patch, black tail and a long pointed bill. Both adult male and female goldfinches look similar but juveniles have a grey-brown spotted plumage and lack the face markings of the adult birds. They are often seen in flocks which are known as a "Charm" of Goldfinches.
Goldfinches will eat seeds, insects, dandelions, burdock and thistles and use their slender, tweezer like bills for extracting seeds from plants and flowers.
7. Dunnock
Sometimes known as the "Hedge Sparrow" due to its close coloration to sparrows and habits of sneaking around low to the ground in bushes and undergrowth. They are also less often known as Hedge Accentors. Accentors being the family of birds they come from where in Europe and Asia they also have Alpine, Siberian and Black throated varieties.
Dunnock's have brown upperparts with paler and darker brown streaks on their mantles and rumps. Their wings and tail are dark brown, and they have a buff wing bar. Their underparts are grey with brown flanks streaked with darker brown. Their underwings are grey. They have brown foreheads and crowns, a grey face with brown cheeks, and a conspicuous blue-grey eyebrow. Their bills are black with a red base, their eyes are chestnut-brown and they have pink legs and feet.          
8. Magpie
Magpies are actually a member of the crow family. They are black and white birds with iridescent metallic bluey-green wings. Male and females look similar although the male is slightly larger. The belly is pure white and they have white markings above the wings and below which can be seen when they are in flight. The tail is long with a glossy purple band near the tip. Magpies have a black bill, dark brown eyes and black legs and feet. Juvenile magpies look very similar to adults except the plumage is duller and less glossy and the tail is shorter.
9. Starling
Famous for the large flocks in winter called "Murmurations" where, as their numbers reach into the tens and hundreds of thousands, the 'murmurations' (the name for a flying flock of starlings) take on incredible shapes in the sky, contracting and expanding as one flock merges into another, and taking on a life of their own; swirling back and forth in ever more complex and beautiful patterns. In breeding plumage starlings have iridescent black and glossy purple and green feathers. They have short, square tails and pointed wings which are dark. Their bills are yellow with a blue base in males and a pink base in females. They have dark brown eyes and reddish-brown legs and feet.
Out of breeding season, starlings have white-tipped feathers and speckles. Their bills are dark grey or black. Male and female starlings look similar, but females are more heavily spotted, with shorter throat feathers and lighter eyes. Juvenile starlings are dull grey with darker grey patches.
10. Blackbird
Blackbirds are well known for their summery fluty and melodic song. Which is a common sound in a British summer garden. Male blackbirds have jet black plumage and an orange-yellow bill and eye ring. Female blackbirds are brown, often with dark mottling on their breast and they have a darker bill than the male. Juveniles are similar to female blackbirds but with more obvious mottling on the underparts and a dark bill.
They feed on Berries, Apples, Worms and insects.

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