Bird Watching

A Guide On Birdwatching Holiday in the U.K

Taking the family for holiday is one of the ways to stay connected, share the fun and experience. Are you new to birdwatching or birdwatching is your hobby? There are a lot of best spots you and your family will love to visit which have the full opportunity to see some birds.

Mother Nature telephones and she has your number! Bird watching is capable of doing wonders for your wellness. It’s no wonder that spending time with nature is good for us; being outside, sucking up some vitamin D, and taking in the fresh air from time to time can have a calming impact that we all enjoy. This would, therefore, come as no shock that practices involving nature often help our well-being, and that is especially valid concerning birdwatching (or ‘birding’ as expert’s term it).

Bird watching is the art of wild birds gazing at and observing their presence and behavior. Bird watching began in the 19th century, but owing to the lack of modern technology, there was a need to shoot birds with their guns and would become familiar with the species only when they had the bird corpse in their hand. The development of modern optical aids like binoculars allowed the birders to see birds without harming them. And with more than 10,000 different species spanning the globe, it’s no wonder millions of people around the world are embarking on the exciting journey to become a full-fledged birder.

Learn more about: Birds. These beautiful, wildly unique creatures offer a myriad of ways to enjoy, from watching their beautiful colors and plumage to watching their interesting behavior and marveling at their gift of flight as they rise through the skies above us.  And with more than 10,000 different species spanning the globe, it’s no wonder millions of people around the world are embarking on the exciting journey to become a full-fledged birder.

 

Birdwatching Spots in the U.K

Caerlaverock WWT Centre, Dumfries, and Galloway- October - March

Thousands of geese, swans, and ducks flying from places as far as Iceland and Spitsbergen as autumn arrives on the Scottish border to enjoy the relatively mild winter in the British Isles. Whooper swans travel in family parties and enjoy the daily feeding sessions at dusk all winter.

Nearby, the Mersehead RSPB reserve draws large quantities of barnacle geese, so-called because before our ancestors knew the birds migrated they assumed they were hatching from the local goose barnacles.

Castle Espie WWT Centre, Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland- October - March

On the north-eastern coast of Northern Ireland, a quick ride from Belfast, Strangford Lough is the most popular wildfowl retreat in the UK. 

It is renowned for the Brent goose’s unusual pale-bellied shape and it is a refuge for thousands of ducks and waders in the winter. The WWT center at Castle Espie is the ideal introduction to this avian wonderland with guided walks, family facilities, and hides.

Avocets Exe Estuary, Devon

Consider a sail down the English Riviera but make sure you bundle up tight because this is a winter trip to see one of Britain’s most stunning avocet birds. The avocet is the emblem of the RSPB and the stately black and white wader is perhaps one of the biggest success stories in protection in the U.K.


Around 25,000 wintering birds live in the Exe estuary, and a boat trip is an ideal way to experience these wild creatures where they belong. Cruises depart from Exmouth or Starcross and last around 3 to 4 hours of the day.

 

Atlantic Puffins Farne Islands, Northumberland – May to July

You don’t have to fly to far-flung, remote areas when it comes to fantastic nature spectacles – Britain’s seabird colonies are among the largest and finest in the country. If you don’t think you’re going to the tiny port of Seahouses, an hour or so north of Newcastle, and take the fast boat ride to the Farne Islands.Let puffins lounge around the exits to their burrows, get mobbed by terns, and hear a group of kittiwakes shouting out their name.

Red Kite Buzzard Gigrin Field, Nr Rhayader, mid-Wales – during the year throughout the 1970s

Red kites were one of Britain’s rarest species, located in a couple of valleys throughout the center of wales. Today, they are found in several areas of Britain, due to a reintroduction project. Yet visit this lovely farm, whose owners feed the kites every afternoon, to see them where they belong! It is impressive to see such active birds swooping in to grab scraps of poultry.

Cormorants, Shags, Gull Isles of Scilly, Cornwall – April to October

These warm and welcoming islands off Cornwall’s tip have long been a destination for twitchers keen on seeing rare birds. But the islands have even more to sell, including summer seabirds and a number of spring and autumn migrants. Unless you want to skip the traffic, avoid October: a journey late April or May would be as successful, less agitated, and with better conditions.

Marsh Harrier Minsmere, Suffolk - May to June

The successful avocets are close to the RSPB’s showpiece reserve in Minsmere. This beautiful wader is only one of many sights on the reserve that is also host to bitterns, marsh harriers, and the country’s broadest variety of breeding birds.  Come to hear the call of nightingales in the forests in May, and see the sand martin colony in the old parking lot. Fern Glasses are available for hire.

 

Osprey Loch Garten, Scottish Highlands - April to August

Launch Operation Osprey by RSPB, set up to protect the nest of this unusual prey species. They made the far-sighted step to make the web available, too. Nearly 3 million tourists have also loved seeing these amazing fish-eating creatures. Look out for Britain’s biggest and most spectacular game bird in the nearby Abernethy Forest – the capercaillie, whose call sounds like a whinnying horse accompanied by a champagne cork popping.

Egyptian Geese Rutland Water, Rutland

The smallest county in Britain in August is home to the UK’s largest annual birders’ gathering: the British Birdwatching Fair held every August for three days. Explore the nearby wetland reserve, home to reintroduced ospreys and other waterbirds, including the comical Egyptian goose, after you have wandered around the marquees, and stalls. Check out the visitor center’s colony of tree sparrows – one of the scarcest songbirds in the U.K – until you depart.

Bewick's Swan Slimbridge WWT Center, Gloucestershire – November to March

The first and perhaps the strongest – the first Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust center for Sir Peter Scott offers plenty for everybody. Children love the captive wildfowl, where they can feed the birds by hand; while the famous Holden. Tower hide can be visited by dedicated birders, with superb views over the marshes. Look for ducks, geese, and the famous Bewick’s swans on a winter visit, each of which is recognized individually by markings on their bill.

 

Birding Gadgets and Gear You Never Knew You Needed

Go beyond binoculars and field guides and use the latest new birding equipment and accessories to level up your game. Okay, let’s be honest. You don’t require all of those fun or birding tools to be a decent birder. All you really need is a good pair of binoculars, and you love a field guide (whether paper or digital). If you enjoy taking pictures, you’re also going to want a nice camera you feel comfortable using. So, please start with those three, if you’re new to birding.

But if you’re willing to step up things, or if you love to play with new gizmos, this list is for you. We are talking about binoculars with night vision so you can track all the owls

.

We have ways to get better shots than ever before up to your smartphone game, a backpack to protect your optics, and a hoodie to protect you from bug bites. None of these gadgets or gears are essential for birding – but they are all fun and useful. They make ideal gifts for hard-to-buy dads on birding, or splurges on your own. So continue. take your birding up to a new level!

Your Birding needs

  •         You need to think about your birding needs before looking at the binoculars.
  •         Will you just use the binoculars to see a couple of birds in the yard?
  •         Can you carry them on walks, and occasionally gaze at birds or landscapes from them?
  •         Would you like to spend hours on end staring through the binoculars in the field?
  •         How strong is the vision?
  •         Wearing glasses or contacts?
  •         How firm are your hands?
  •         What kind of birds are you watching?
  •         What more do you want the binoculars to do?
  •         Which conditions can you put them under?
  •   First but most significantly, how much can you afford? Keep in mind those questions.

 

Binocular

Binocular part It has two main types of body, Porro-prisms have a ‘traditional,’ stepped shape with an angled body. A straight-through look acknowledges the roof-prisms. They tend to be more compact than binoculars with Porro-prism and many people find that they are more comfortable to use. Their internal focus helps guard against the elements.

The choice of the model is a personal choice, but much of today’s high-quality binoculars are roof-prism regardless of fashions. Miniature ‘compact’ binoculars are helpful if critical considerations are the scale and the weight. A key drawback is the limited capacity and field of vision to collect energy. They are easy to keep but for steady watching, you would choose a more stable form.

Rubber surface provides greater safety from body (not lens) bumps. Waterproof binoculars are common, particularly in the roof-prism type. Lens and prism coatings enhance the propagation of light through the binoculars and provide a clearer picture. The choice of binoculars for disabled birdwatchers depends on the nature of the disability and personal preference. It’s particularly important to try out different models.

Small magnification binoculars need less refocusing, providing greater stability; stabilizing binoculars perform well, but they are bulky and costly. The optical specialist suppliers can offer personalized solutions.

Binocular straps

Talking about straps might seem odd, but the strap that holds the binoculars around your neck can make quite a difference. Most binoculars come with some sort of strap, usually a narrow piece of nylon webbing or the like.

Although the binoculars can definitely be kept up by these belts, many birders consider them cumbersome and choose broader bands, sometimes of lighter fabrics to relieve back strain. A choice that has increased in popularity in recent years is a binocular “harness,” which has belts running across the shoulders and under the neck. They transfer the binoculars weight to the feet, thus relieving pressure on both the neck and lower back.

Adjusting binoculars

You cannot see two contrasting rings while gazing from binoculars, contrary to what you see in the films and on television. The angle between the lenses will be set so that as you gaze through the binoculars, you see a clear dot. You may be surprised to learn that almost certainly your eyes aren’t exactly the same. The brain compensates for this under normal conditions but when using binoculars, the eyes are magnified differently. Any pair of binoculars you consider should, therefore,  have what is termed a diopter adjustment to compensate.

Here’s how to change the binoculars: Assume that the switch to the diopter is on the right side (it normally is), just look through the left eye and aim the binoculars carefully on a point with some fine precision utilizing the center-focus feature. Now change the diopter for the sharpest concentration on the same target without changing the central focus feature, and use the right eye only. To ensure optimal improvement, replicate the cycle a time or two. Then, as the central focus axis is rotated all eyes should remain in view.

Remember to periodically test the diopter environment. Coming out of Adjustment is simple for it. In the last few years Monocular with Smartphone Owner, Digiscoping has become the trendy new trend of birding. Simply placed, taking pictures from a spotting scope is by using your compact camera or mobile.

The configurations for these can be simple or complicated, so get going with this smartphone and monocular keeper. The 12 x 50 monocular can be used alone or you can mount your camera to the holder to take photos. When keeping it straight, it is better equipped with a tripod, however, the monocular suits every regular tripod and you can use one you already have.

Smartphone telephoto lenses compact cameras are getting stronger each year, so you may still catch yourself leaving your bigger camera at home. However, not all mobile cameras offer fantastic zoom choices, so a little telephoto lens package might be a major investment. Throw it into your pocket and when you need it you’ll have it on hand. Even this package comes with a tiny tripod to make your shots more stable.

Camera Backpack

Whether you’re carrying a high-end camera with lots of accessories, or just a good quality point-and-shoot, you don’t want your banana and water bottle rolling around in the bottom of a backpack. Yet it’s simply too hard to bring a suitcase, and a compact bag. Compromise with a backpack that boasts integrated camera capacity. The durable lined pockets are perfect for carrying binoculars, too. External pockets will contain paraphernalia for your food, field guide, and other birding types.

All-Weather Field Notebook

This notebook does not sound high-tech at first glance. But not just another notebook. The document is weather-proof, and you can write to it with only a standard pencil under any circumstances. The interior contains insect anatomy diagrams and the birding ethics code as useful reminders. Insect-proof hoodie swatting away mischievous mosquitoes and gnats will spoil the joy of a spectacular sight.

This hoodie is pre-treated with Insect Shield technology and is invisible. The sleeves have thumb holes so that you can draw them back to cover your hands and your head is covered by a cap. The packaging offers security for SPF, too. The hat is ideal for taking the eyes off the heat on birding trips. This is critical since birding trips are often longer than originally scheduled. Many bird watchers have uttered the phrase, “We’re just going to stick to the trail;” very few birdwatchers have actually followed that advice.

Some really clean bird always draws them off the trail and into the wet, and muddy undergrowth (inevitably). Notebook and journal, not every birder hold a notebook so it is helpful for inexperienced birdwatchers to document their observations. A quick approach to know how to classify birds is to carefully observe a new species, and write down a thorough summary of what you found in the journal. This way, when the bird is flying off, you can take your time to go through the field guide, comparing the information in the guide to your bird description.

This list covers pretty much everything a novice birdwatcher needs for a birding trip. Experienced birders may also take extra things with them, because their curiosity in birds is increasing, and their personal expenditure requires other valuable equipment to be bought.

Benefits of Taking Up Bird Watching

Providing you with optimistic feelings going out for a great holiday is a perfect opportunity to calm and let go of your problems. Getting outside in nature helps you to clear your mind and reset yourself, so you no longer need to think about a job or home life pain. Getting outside is a perfect way to battle back against whatever fear or stress you might deal from. You ought to handle it gradually and softly, getting your pace down to a calm level, while you are actively looking for birds.

An extra advantage of living outside is that the body can suck up more of the sun’s essential vitamin D, which may reduce the likelihood of osteoporosis for older people. Improvements of your reflexes and mental alertness. When you are to catch a glimpse of the birds you are hunting for, you need to be on your toes. You need to be able to get your phone, get into the correct place and take a shot – this without creating so much noise and scaring the guy.

Bird watchers need their minds to work on several different levels to ensure that they are able to pick up any signs that a bird might be near. Overtime will make your reactions faster and prove this hobby has a positive effect on your brain and your reflexes. You may often need to consider specific information of each species when studying their actions and sounds. Your brain should love a workout any time you’re on a bird-watching ride – ideal for the dementia war. 

Provide you with plenty of activity: You’ll be walking several miles on your journeys to locate the particular bird you’re searching for. You need to go biking or riding in the mountains for any excursions, scrambling up rugged terrains to get the right shot. Carrying and carrying bulky tools including cameras and binoculars would ensure you would require lots of arm power – encouraging you to go into the gym to focus on your core strength. All of this exercise will improve your cardiovascular health and may help to reduce the risk of multiple conditions.

New knowledge inside bird watching you’ll even learn and pick up new skills when you hunt for birds all over the globe. The main part of bird watching is taking great photographs of the species, meaning you will undoubtedly need to learn and practice how to use professional equipment to take the perfect shot. Photography is a fantastic mastering skill and one that can be used daily. You can also want to know how to import and edit your images to your screen or tablet device – that’s a different ability in itself.

You can wind up hiking or cycling up mountains and rugged terrains while you go hunting for birds, thereby supplying you with new sports skills to add to your set. There are so many beautiful and unusual bird species in the U.K that ensure bird watching as a hobby brings you on loads of trips. Your love for it will take you to exotic locations around the world where you will also be able to take in the sights and make a vacation from it. In theory, you could draw up a bucket list that links directly to your bird watching plans.

Remaining healthy and content throughout the aging years is a vital aspect of life and being willing to explore towns across the globe is a sure way to do so.

The Benefits of Bird Watching for Kids

Bird watching for kids is a wonderful experience that helps kids to appreciate nature while taking time away from the computers and schoolwork to discover the world around them in their quietness. Bird watching can be accomplished from anywhere – that’s why you ought to take your holiday time off college. You may have grown up watching birds, or you could hardly tell the difference between a duck, and a goose.

Whatever your level of skill, you and your children, including family, can discover the hobby together at the UK holiday spots you travel. Inspiring a love of nature bird watching children is a wonderful hobby with several advantages. Birding is the greatest opportunity of nature for youngsters, whether you want to show them how to enjoy big and small animals.

Children can learn about native plants when birding in a wild space, such as on a hike, and the importance of keeping track of designated paths to avoid trampling foliage. This is also a forum to address the need for open space and livestock environments in metropolitan areas.

Gain awareness and appreciation

Our modern world encourages constant multi-tasking but stopping and recharging is important for growing brains. The quietness of observing birds is less of a skill and more of an opportunity to pause and take it all in. The things you discover besides birds might surprise you and your family!

Watching birds is a hobby that you can enjoy at any age. Through cultivating in your children a love of nature, you owe them a blessing that will endure for a lifetime.

Feeding Birds

Consider bringing eco-friendly, reusable, and resealable plastic bags for some mixed birdseed on your holiday. You disperse it this way everywhere you go to allow the bird to come out and play.In winter, deliver certain high-fat and high-energy products, such as bird peanuts or sunflower cores. This should help birds survive in cold weather where there is insufficient natural food supply. Only making your own fat balls is a very enjoyable thing you can do with your kids. Nothing is more rewarding than watching a bird nibble on the food that your family and you have made.

 

Common Birds You Can Find in the U.K

Dunnock

Another small bird, the dunnock is in color brownish gray and in nature quiet. The dunnock is often spotted hopping near a flower bed or shrubbery-heavy area, often as a solitary bird. Their gestures are an indicator of their origin – watch for an anxious shuffling action in your garden to recognize a dunnock.

Coal

Tit Coal tit is grey-black more than its more colorful parents. This specific breed sports a white mark on its neck back which helps distinguish them. The coal tit will follow other tits during the colder months and will travel in flocks in pursuit of warmth.

Long-tailed tit

The long-tailed tit is an animal with its distinctive coloring that is harder to identify. The long-tailed tit, a fuzzy and pink species, is a gregarious bird and can normally be found in flocks of twenty of them. As the name imparts, this unique breed has a large tail that matches its body height.

Chaffinch

Chaffinch is the second most common species in the UK, the chaffinch is another item in your backyard to watch out for. The bird feeder is close to a decent starting stage. Even though they are not likely to feed openly on the table, they can be spotted hopping down in the hedges and on the ground, looking for food. You will hear the booming music of this breed, though, and you will see the partnered feathers so expertly blend into the ground.

Wood pigeon

The most common pigeon in the UK, and the biggest wood pigeon, too. The breed is mainly grey on the neck and leg, with white detail. Listen out when it’s in flight for its familiar cooing sound and the clatter of wings.

Blackbird

Their name might be a blessing to their beauty, but that’s actually just valid for males. In fact, the females are mostly brown in color with spots and other patterns on their breasts. Males are recognizable by their beak and eye area of orange-yellow color. Blackbird is singing a mellow song and is commonly seen in UK gardens. When seen from afar, starling starlings appear black but have a peek up close and you’ll find their purple undertones. They are marginally smaller in size than blackbirds, and prefer to fly across flocks.

Blackbirds are a loud, friendly group, finding it impossible to ignore them should you come across a flock that moves across your backyard. The blue tit is a vibrant genus featuring brown, yellow, and green colors. For UK gardens this beautiful species is quickly recognized. During the winter they prefer to gather into communities while they try food to sustain their wide families.

House Sparrow

In some areas of Britain house sparrows are in significant decline. The bird can be identified by its black patterns and chestnut tail. Interestingly, in the winter the beak of the house sparrow is a yellow-brown color, turning black in the warmer months.

Magpie

Magpie is a noisy, unique bird, characterized by its monochrome plumage and unique long tail. If you take a closer look you’ll find on the tail and wings a purple-green tint on their dark feathers.

Carrion Crow

This bird looks all black and can act cleverly and fearlessly. However, the carrion crow may be quite careful about humans – but if they find a safe place to feed, they will certainly return to that spot again. A rather solitary bird, they are often spotted on their own or in a pair.

Jay

The jay is the crow family’s most vivid member and can be found in the UK and in far northern areas. These birds can be hard to spot as they enjoy the woodland cover and have a sweet spot with plenty of coniferous trees for gardens.

The jay is renowned for feeding on main acorns, especially in the autumn, where they may be seen burying them in winter preparation.

Wren

Small in size, the wren is a slim brown bird with a fine tail that is roundish in shape and can be vertical. Surprisingly for its size, the wren has a loud voice. The wren is the most prevalent breeding bird in the U.K.

Goldcrest

The goldcrest is the tiniest bird in the U.K. They have a pale underbelly, grey-brown in color, and a striking black and yellow stripe across their head. You can tell the gender by their coloring when spotting goldcrests. Males get their line with an orange center although females do not.

Greenfinch

Another bright species that displays green and yellow highlights as it lands. they can also be found during the year in village gardens, as they also love the countryside. With most bird seeds and insects you can attract these beautiful birds but sunflower seeds are a real favorite.

Robin

The robin is arguably one of the easiest to spot birds – its bright red chest gives away its identity to everything it meets. The bright bird is seen throughout the year, particularly throughout the festive season, which is why it has been a sign of Christmas for a long time (if not in your backyard, you’re likely to see one on a Christmas carte).

Collared Doves

Collared doves yellow, pink-gray to brown in color, collared doves sport a distinctive black ‘collar’ around their necks which gives them their name and identifies them for spotting in the garden. Their reddish heads and feet, if you can get close enough, are another sign to watch out for.

Instead, listen to their usual monotonous tone of cooing, which is another sure present.

Good Tit

The local major tit is the biggest of the U.K tit family (now we’re including four). When your eyes search you will see a blackhead and white cheeks. If you listen with your ears, your giveaway is a two-syllable song. The bird will join other tit breeds and form a flock during the winter.

Goldfinch

The goldfinch, with its bright red face and yellowtail, is a beautiful British garden creature. Listening to their peaceful twittering around the bird represents a likely spotting. Goldfinch is increasingly visiting UK garden feeders – though they will have migrated to warmer climates as far as Spain by winter.

 

Bird Watching Tips and Precautions

It’s the degree. Birders are more severe, more focused, more passionate about the hobby, and are often insulted at being labeled a birdwatcher because this is what they really are. Whereas birdwatchers own a cheap binocular pair and a beat-up bird field guide, birders prefer to have several sets of binoculars, including a very pricey version, and a spotting lens.

Birdwatchers can maintain a record of the birds they’ve seen but they’re not really vigilant. Birders are obsessive about maintaining a life list, and often keep country lists, state lists, county lists, and even zoo and tv lists of the birds they’ve seen. Birdwatchers can spend a couple of hours in the field on a birdwatching day, while birders come up before dawn, bird all day, and chase owls at night. Anyone observing birds has their own look and a commitment to the hobby.

Birding is enjoyable, it may be frustrating, but nothing keeps your family and you from experiencing the fun to the fullest if you stay centered on what you are doing.

 

 

What do a birdwatcher and a birder differ?

It’s the degree. Birders are more severe, more focused, more passionate about the hobby, and are often insulted at being labeled a birdwatcher because this is what they really are. Whereas birdwatchers own a cheap binocular pair and a beat-up bird field guide, birders prefer to have several sets of binoculars, including a very pricey version, and a spotting lens.

Birdwatchers can maintain a record of the birds they’ve seen but they’re not really vigilant. Birders are obsessive about maintaining a life list, and often keep country lists, state lists, county lists, and even zoo and tv lists of the birds they’ve seen. Birdwatchers can spend a couple of hours in the field on a birdwatching day, while birders come up before dawn, bird all day, and chase owls at night. Anyone observing birds has their own look and a commitment to the hobby. Birding is enjoyable, it may be frustrating, but nothing keeps your family and you from experiencing the fun to the fullest if you stay centered on what you are doing.