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Bird identification and sightings

Seen something weird and wonderful, rare or unusual? Struggling to identify a bird you can't recognise? Our team of experts are here to help!

As a beginner trying to teach my son and his mother, I need advice on books, also any local groups we could join (East London Area) and could you advise me on binoculars?

As a beginner trying to teach my son and his mother, I need advice on books. What are the best ones to get as a beginner, where can I get them, do you know local groups we could join (East London Area) and could you advise me on basic to advanced binoculars? More...

What types of bird of prey fly in groups?

There are many species of birds of prey (or raptors) that could be seen in groups and for a variety of reasons. More...

Are the buzzards in India the same as here in England?

India has three resident Buteo species. One of these is the [common] buzzard. There are also long-legged and upland buzzards. More...

What are the sleek, bright green birds I've seen on Wandsworth Common?

I have seen a pair of birds on Wandsworth Common. They are bright green and make the most wonderful high-pitched noise. They are very thin and sleek and fast and look tropical. I would like to know what they are. More...

Are there any great spotted woodpeckers in Ireland?

Are there really no great spotted woodpeckers in Ireland? I've spotted one on a farmland tree in Co Down. More...

On winter mornings, a loud screeching wakes us up. Could it be an owl?

I have a large garden with an area of woodland. Each winter we are awoken at dawn by a loud screeching. I think it might be a barn or short-eared owl, but your pages suggest that these birds hunt during the day and mostly at dusk, rather than at dawn. Could this be an owl which is hunting at dawn? More...

Where can I go to hear nightingales singing?

I live in Leyland in Lancashire and I would like to find a place to hear a nightingale sing in the night or early morning. I know that they do not reside in the northern counties of England - I would be intrigued to know of some locations I could travel to have a chance to hear their song. More...

Can you identify a strange thrush visiting our garden?

Can you identify a bird which is visiting our garden? Same size as a blackbird, with a grey hood, grey sides and black/dark grey wings. There is white on the back between its wings. It has a speckly belly like a song thrush in an orangey colour with a white strip each side on the front adjacent to the wings. More...

Could we have seen a flock of 15 herons flying together?

Could we have seen a flock of 15 herons flying together? These birds passed silently overhead, about 2 months ago, on the North Notts/Derbys border. They were not in a V formation, and were definitely not rooks, Canada geese, or anything else we can think of, but were too high to identify positively. More...

Where is the best place in the south for me to see a king fisher and get a close view of it?

Where is the best place in the south for me to see a king fisher and get a close view of it? More...

Where can I go to see huge roosts of rooks and crows?

I am reading Mark Cocker's book, 'Crow Country', and would love to go and observe rooks or crows coming to roost at dusk. I live near Dudley, West Midlands, on the edge of Staffordshire and Worcestershire. Is there anywhere near me where I could do this? More...

I have spotted a variant great spotted woodpecker in my garden. Could it be a hybrid?

I have several pairs of greater spotted woodpeckers in my garden in a rural area near Inverness. I have spotted a variant - it has a full red cap and a buff breast like a lesser spotted, but has the distinctive vertical white flash on its wing. What is this? Could it be a hybrid? More...

I have just seen a bee-eater in my garden in Cornwall. Is this rare?

I have just seen a bee-eater in my garden in Cornwall. I have a photograph. Is this rare? More...

I recently saw a small, white heron with a yellow beak. What could it be?

I recently saw what I thought was a little egret at Pinn Fields, Ruislip. When I saw it on a second occasion I was not so sure. It was a small, white heron about one third the size of the grey. It has a yellow rather than a black beak. What could it be? More...

Could I have seen a little egret just off the A4?

I drove along the A4 today from Marlborough to Hungerford and saw on the small patch of water just north of the road immediately to the west of Froxfield three birds that were definitely egrets of some sort. I did not stop so I cannot be certain which type but from their pure white plumage and size they would seem to have been either cattle egrets or little egrets. Has anyone else seen them? I saw them on my way and on my way back around the middle of the day. More...

Why haven't I seen siskins and redpolls in my garden this winter?

Last year at this time we had quite a number of siskins and redpolls in the garden which came with the goldfinches. Although we have had up to eight goldfinches feeding we have not seen any siskins or redpolls. Is this due to the milder weather? More...

I saw a black swan on new years day whilst walking by the river. Are they rare in the UK?

I saw a black swan on new years day whilst walking by the river. Are they rare in the UK? More...

I saw a woodcock in my garden this morning. Are they rare here?

I saw a woodcock in my garden this morning. Are they rare here? More...

I saw a blackcap in my garden but I thought they were only here in the summer. Was this unusual?

I saw a blackcap in my garden but I thought they were only here in the summer. Was this unusual? More...

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