Finding out about… the starling

Image by Marilyn Peddle, CC BY-NC 2.0 Latin name: Sturnus vulgaris Adults in the breeding season look basically black, but with a shining purple and green feathering, the starling is truly a very handsome bird.  It is indeed very attractive and so underrated by both birdwatchers and the general public. The starling, like all birds,… Read More

Finding out about… the blackbird

Image by aaandreasss, CC BY-ND 2.0 Latin name: Turdus merula It has very few local names, but I have located blackjack (male) (Surrey), black thrush (Yorkshire), garden ousel (Cheshire) and colly (Somerset). We all grew up with the nursery rhyme “Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie”, and just about every species from sparrows… Read More

Finding out about… the goosander

Image by Corine Bliek, CC BY-NC 2.0 There has never been a time in my long birdwatching life that I have not been involved with this large and perhaps most attractive sawbill.  This species has a very interesting history in the UK.  It was widely persecuted in Scotland, but eventually bred successfully in Perthshire in… Read More

FInding Out About… Little Egrets

Image by Natural England, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Latin name: Egretta garzetta This beautiful, elegant bird is a small white member of the heron family, which comprises of 60 species and can be found on every continent except Antarctica. The Little Egret is now widespread in Europe, where the birds which breed in the north of… Read More

Finding Out About… Gadwall

Image by Don McCrady, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Latin name: Anas Strepera Most literature give Gadwall as a naturalised resident. It is a very special Paxton Pits bird in that we hold, on average during late Autumn and Winter up to 350 of these attractive wild fowl. This exceeds 1% of the entire English wintering population,… Read More