The Wild Boar Woods Birdlife

Visitors to the woods at The Wild Boar can expect to see a diversity of wildlife inhabiting these ancient lakeland woods. We have a provided below a list of some of the bird species visitors might encounter on a trek around the woods.

  • Blackbird (Turdus merula)


    While male blackbirds live up to their name, confusingly, females are actually brown, often with spots and streaks on their breasts. You'll quite often spot these birds hopping along the ground with their long tails up in the air. In winter, migrant blackbirds from northern Europe join our resident birds.

  • Blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)


    A colourful mix of blue, yellow, white and green make the agile blue tit one of our most attractive garden visitors. In winter, family flocks join up with other tits as they search for food - flitting onto bird feeders, or feeding on seeds and scraps left on bird tables and on the ground.

  • Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)


    The male is unmistakable with his bright pinkish-red breast and cheeks, grey back, black cap and tail, and bright white rump. The flash of the rump in flight and the sad call note are usually the first signs of bullfinches being present. They feed voraciously of the buds of various trees in spring and were once a 'pest' of fruit crops.

  • Buzzard (Buteo buteo)


    The Buzzard is now the commonest and most widespread UK bird of prey. It is quite large with broad, rounded wings, and a short neck and tail. When gliding and soaring it will often hold its wings in a shallow 'V' and the tail is fanned. Birds are variable in colour from all dark brown to much paler variations; all have dark wingtips and a finely barred tail. Their plaintive mewing call could be mistaken for a cat.

  • Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)


    Arguably one of our most colourful finches, both male and female chaffinches have black and white wings, and a green rump. Males have a pinky face and breast and a blue-grey crown, while females are sandy brown. Its patterned plumage helps it to blend in when feeding on the ground and it becomes most obvious when it flies, revealing a flash of white on the wings and white outer tail feathers. It does not feed openly on bird feeders - it prefers to hop about under the bird table or under the hedge. You'll usually hear chaffinches before you see them, with their loud song and varied calls.

  • Coal tit (Periparus ater)


    This small tit has a black head with white cheeks and a white stripe on the back of its head. They are very active and agile birds, often seen in flocks with other small birds feeding in woods and hedgerows, as well as on feeders. They take any excess food and store it for eating later. In winter they join with other tits to form flocks which roam through woodlands and gardens in search of food.

  • Coot (Fulica atra)


    All-black and larger than its cousin, the moorhen, it has a distinctive white beak and 'shield' above the beak which earns it the title 'bald'. Its feet have distinctive lobed flaps of skin on the toes, which act instead of webs when swimming. It patters noisily over the water before taking off and can be very aggressive towards others.

  • Dunnock (Prunella modularis)


    A small brown and grey bird. Quiet and unobtrusive, it is often seen on its own, creeping along the edge of a flower bed or near to a bush, moving with a rather nervous, shuffling gait, often flicking its wings as it goes. When two rival males come together they become animated with lots of wing-flicking and loud calling

  • Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo)

    Eagle Owl

    The Eagle Owl is one of the most powerful owls in the world. It is Eagle Owl an inhabitant of Europe and Asia, and is a rarity in Great Britain. It is characterized by its very large size (26 to 28 inches long), the two tufts of feathers on its head and the large orange eyes. It is the largest of the European owls

  • Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)


    In October, watch out for fieldfares returning to spend the winter in the UK. Fieldfares are large, colourful thrushes, much like a mistle thrush in general size, shape and behaviour. They stand very upright and move forward with purposeful hops. They are very social birds, spending the winter in flocks of anything from a dozen or two to several hundred strong. These straggling, chuckling flocks that roam the UK's countryside are a delightful and attractive part of the winter scene.

  • Goldcrest (Regulus regulus)


    The goldcrest is the UK's smallest songbird and is dull green above and buff white below with a distinctive orange or yellow crown stripe. It is a widespread species, closely associated with coniferous forest. In winter it will join with flocks of tits and other woodland species. In the UK it occurs widely save for in treeless areas such as on the Fens and in northern Scotland. It suffers in very cold winters and the recent successive mild winters are a cause for optimism.

  • Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)


    A large hawk, almost as large as a Buzzard. Seen close to it has a fierce expression with bright red eyes and a distinctive white eyebrow. Its broad wings enable it to hunt at high speed, weaving in and out of trees, and its long legs and talons can catch its prey in flight. The female is substantially larger than the male. In late winter and spring it has a 'sky-dance' display. Goshawks are still persecuted and their nests are frequently robbed.

  • Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

    Great Spotted Woodpecker

    About blackbird-sized and striking black and white. It has a very distinctive bouncing flight and spends most of its time clinging to tree trunks and branches, often trying to hide on the side away from the observer. Its presence is often announced by its loud call or by its distinctive spring 'drumming' display. The male has a distinctive red patch on the back of the head and young birds have a red crown.

  • Great tit (Parus major)

    Great Tit

    Great tits are green and yellow with striking glossy black heads, white cheeks and a distinctive two-syllable song. They feed on seeds and scraps either left on the ground, or on bird tables and in nut feeders, often using their bigger size to boss the other birds off the food!

  • Green woodpecker (Picus viridis)

    Green Woodpecker

    The green woodpecker is the largest of the three woodpeckers that breed in Britain. It has a heavy-looking body, short tail and a strong, long bill. It is greeny-grey on its upperparts with a bright green rump and red on the top of its head. They have an undulating flight. They climb up tree trunks and branches and will move around to be on the side away from anyone watching.

  • Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)

    Green Finch

    With its twittering and wheezing song, and flash of yellow and green as it flies, greenfinches are truly colourful characters. Females might be brown, but don't confuse them with female house sparrows - when she flies off, you'll see the yellow in her tail and wings. Nesting in a garden conifer, or feasting on black sunflower seeds, it is a popular garden visitor, able to take advantage of food in town and city gardens at a time when intensive agriculture has deprived it of many weed seeds in the countryside. Although quite sociable, they may squabble among themselves or with other birds at the bird table.

  • Grey heron (Ardea cinerea)

    Grey Heron

    The largest European heron. It can stand with neck stretched out, looking for food, or hunch down with its neck bent over its chest. In flight it holds its neck retracted and has large rounded wings. It is usually solitary although several birds may feed fairly close together. It stalks its food, often standing motionless for some considerable time. It usually feeds close to the bank or shore, but may wade out into shallow water.

  • Greylag goose (Anser anser)

    Greylag Goose

    The ancestor of most domestic geese, the greylag is the largest and bulkiest of the wild geese native to the UK and Europe. In many parts of the UK it has been re-established by releasing birds in suitable areas, but the resulting flocks (often mixed with Canada geese) found around gravel pits, lakes and reservoirs all year round in southern Britain tend to be semi-tame and uninspiring. The native birds and wintering flocks found in Scotland retain the special appeal of truly wild geese.

  • Jay (Garrulus glandarius)


    Although they are the most colourful members of the crow family, jays are actually quite difficult to see. They are shy woodland birds, rarely moving far from cover. The screaming call usually lets you know a jay is about and it is usually given when a bird is on the move, so watch for a bird flying between the trees with its distinctive flash of white on the rump. Jays are famous for their acorn feeding habits and in the autumn you may see them burying acorns for retrieving later in the winter.

  • Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)


    A kestrel is often a familiar sight with its pointed wings and long tail, hovering beside a roadside verge. Numbers of kestrels declined in the 1970s, probably as a result of changes in farming and so it is included on the Amber List. They have adapted readily to man-made environments and can survive right in the centre of cities.

  • Little grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

    Little Grebe

    A small, dumpy grebe which often appears to have a 'fluffy' rear end. It readily dives when disturbed, surfacing unseen some distance away. In summer it has a bright chestnut throat and cheeks and a pale gape patch at the base of the bill. It can be noisy, with a distinctive whinnying trill.

  • Long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus)

    Long Tail Tit

    Looking like a ball on a stick with their long tails and small bodies, you'll probably notice long-tailed tits most when they are in small, excitable flocks of about 20 birds. Both males and females are black, white and pale pink, with distinctive white crowns. Gregarious and noisy residents, long-tailed tits are most usually noticed in small, excitable flocks of about 20 birds. Like most tits, they rove the woods and hedgerows, but are also seen on heaths and commons with suitable bushes.

  • Magpie (Pica pica)


    Magpies seem to be jacks of all trades - scavengers, predators and pest-destroyers; their challenging, almost arrogant attitude has won them few friends. With its noisy chattering, black-and-white plumage and long tail, there is nothing else quite like the magpie in the UK. When seen close-up its black plumage takes on an altogether more colourful hue with a purplish-blue iridescent sheen to the wing feathers, and a green gloss to the tail. Non breeding birds will gather together in flocks.

  • Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)


    The mallard is a large and heavy looking duck. It has a long body and a long and broad bill. The male has a dark green head, a yellow bill, is mainly purple-brown on the breast and grey on the body. The female is mainly brown with an orange bill. It breeds in all parts of the UK in summer and winter, wherever there are suitable wetland habitats, although it is scarcer in upland areas. Mallards in the UK may be resident breeders or migrants - many of the birds that breed in Iceland and northern Europe spend the winter here.

  • Mistle thrush (Turdus viscivorus)

    Mistle Thrush

    This big, bold spotty thrush is very territorial when it comes to its favourite berry bushes. Listen for its harsh 'football rattle' call. This is a pale, black-spotted thrush - large, aggressive and powerful. It stands boldly upright and bounds across the ground while in flight, it has long wings and its tail has whitish edges. It is most likely to be noticed perched high at the top of a tree, singing its fluty song or giving its rattling call in flight.

  • Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)


    The moorhen is a medium-sized, ground-dwelling bird, and is usually found near water. From a distance it looks black with a ragged white line along its body. Up close it is olive-brown on the back and the head and underneath it is blue-grey. It has a red bill with a yellow tip. It breeds in the UK in lowland areas, especially in central and eastern England. It is scarce in northern Scotland and the uplands of Wales and northern England. UK breeding birds are residents and seldom travel far.

  • Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)


    The nuthatch is a plump bird about the size of a great tit that resembles a small woodpecker. It is blue-grey above and whitish below, with chestnut on its sides and under its tail. It has a black stripe on its head, a long black pointed bill, and short legs. It breeds in central and southern England and in Wales, and is resident, with birds seldom travelling far from the woods where they hatch.

  • Peregrine (Falco peregrinus)

    Peregrine Falcon

    The peregrine is a large and powerful falcon. It has long, broad, pointed wings and a relatively short tail. It is blue-grey above, with a blackish top of the head and an obvious black 'moustache' that contrasts with its white face. It is swift and agile in flight, chasing prey. The strongholds of the breeding birds in the UK are the uplands of the north and west and rocky seacoasts. Peregrines have suffered illegal killing from gamekeepers and landowners, and been a target for egg collectors, but better legal protection and control of pesticides (which indirectly poisoned birds) have helped the population to recover considerably from a low in the 1960s.

  • Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)


    A large, long-tailed game bird. Males have rich chestnut, golden-brown and black markings on body and tail, with a dark green head and red face. Females are mottled with paler brown and black. They were introduced to the UK long ago and more recent introductions have brought in a variety of races and breeds for sport shooting.

  • Raven (Corvus corax)


    The raven is a big black bird, a member of the crow family. It is massive, bigger than a buzzard. It is all black with a large bill, and long wings. In flight, it shows a diamond-shaped tail. It breeds in the west and north only. Most birds are residents, but some birds, especially non-breeders and young birds wander from their breeding areas but do not travel far.

  • Redwing (Turdus iliacus)


    This winter visitor is the UK's smallest thrush, but still manages to reach our shores all the way from Scandinavia. The redwing is most commonly encountered as a winter bird and is the UK's smallest true thrush. Its creamy strip above the eye and orange-red flank patches make it distinctive. They roam across the UK's countryside, feeding in fields and hedgerows, rarely visiting gardens, except in the coldest weather when snow covers the fields. Only a few pairs nest in the UK.

  • Robin (Erithacus rubecula)


    The UK's favourite bird - with its bright red breast it is familiar throughout the year and especially at Christmas! Males and females look identical, and young birds have no red breast and are spotted with golden brown. Robins sing nearly all year round and despite their cute appearance, they are aggressively territorial and are quick to drive away intruders. Despite its cute appearance, both males and females hold winter territories and will aggressively drive away intruders. They are the only garden birds to sing throughout winter.

  • Short-eared owl (Asio flammeus)

    Short Eared Owl

    Short-eared owls are medium sized owls with mottled brown bodies, pale under-wings and yellow eyes. They are commonly seen hunting during the day. In winter, there is an influx of continental birds. They are of European conservation concern and so are an Amber List species.

  • Song thrush (Turdus philomelos)

    Song Thrush

    Speckle-breasted song thrushes are always a joy to see in the garden. A familiar and popular garden songbird, whose numbers are declining seriously. Its habit of repeating song phrases distinguish it from singing blackbirds. It likes to eat snails which it breaks into by smashing them against a stone with a flick of the head.

  • Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

    Sparrow Hawk

    The broad, rounded wings and long tail of sparrowhawks are adapted for flying between trunks and branches enabling them to weave in and out of trees at high speed. They never hover like kestrels.

  • Tawny owl (Strix aluco)

    Tawny Owl

    The tawny owl is an owl the size of a pigeon. It has a rounded body and head, with a ring of dark feathers around its face surrounding the dark eyes. It is mainly reddish brown above and paler underneath. It is a widespread breeding species in England, Wales and Scotland but not found in Ireland. Birds are mainly residents with established pairs probably never leaving their territories. Young birds disperse from breeding grounds in autumn.

  • Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris)

    Tree Creeper

    The treecreeper is small, very active, bird that lives in trees. It has a long, slender, down curved bill. It is speckled brown above and mainly white below. It breeds in the UK and is resident here. Birds leave their breeding territories in autumn but most range no further than 20 km. Its population is mainly stable

  • Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola)


    The woodcock is a large bulky wading bird with short legs, and a very long straight tapering bill. It is largely nocturnal, spending most of the day in dense cover. Most of the birds in the UK are residents; in the autumn birds move to the UK from Finland and Russia to winter here. The breeding population has been falling recent years, perhaps because of fewer habitats as conifer plantations become too mature for woodcocks to find open enough breeding areas.

  • Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus)

    Wood Pigeon

    Woodpigeons are our largest and commonest pigeon. They have small, round, grey heads, white neck patches, a pink breast, and greyish bodies. You've probably heard its cooing call and the loud clatter of its wings when it flies away.

  • Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)


    The wren is a tiny brown bird, although it is heavier, less slim, than the even smaller goldcrest. It is dumpy, almost rounded, with a fine bill, quite long legs and toes, very short round wings and a short, narrow tail which is sometimes cocked up vertically. For such a small bird it has a remarkably loud voice. It is the commonest UK breeding bird, although it suffers declines during prolonged, severely cold winters.