Sunday, April 29, 2012

Birding Where are good birding locations in or near London?

Question by muncie birder: Where are good birding locations in or near London?
I will be in London for several days on my way to Estonia in May. Where can I go that is in London or within a couple of hours by rail to look for birds and what are ones I should see.

Best answer:

Answer by David S
Firstly in the London area itself. I would recommend both Hampstead Heath and Richmond Park. The nearest Underground stations to Hampstead Heath are Golders Green,Hampstead or Highgate. Its a huge area of grassland and woodland containing all the more common breeds of British birds plus the raptors Kestrels and Sparrowhawks and many other vistors at migration time in Spring and Autumn. If you are going to Richmond Park catch an SWT train from Waterloo Station or the District Line of the Underground; the park is about 1 mile from Richmond Station – walk through the shopping centre and up Richmond Hill. Richmond Park is a national nature reserve and is huge with many very old trees and as well the birds you’ll see on Hampstead Heath, it has a particularly large amount of Green Woodpeckers and is also the home of a huge colony of Green Parakeets which escaped from captivity over 20 years ago and have bred in Richmond Park with enormous success.
Outside London why not visit the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds reserve at Pulborough Brooks West Sussex. This is a wetland reserve at the foot of the chalk downland the South Downs. Its a beautiful location for birds favouring wetlands; you might also see the raptor the Buzzard,
and in May at least hear the Cuckoo. Take the train to Pulborough from London Victoria; they run every 30 minutes
(hourly on Sundays) and the journey takes 75 minutes; there is a public footpath from Pulborough Village to the reserve.
I would suggest obtaining Ordnance Survey Landranger Map
Sheet 197 ‘Chichester & the South Downs’

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Tags:Birding, Good, locations, london, near


  1. I'd also vouch for Richmond (and also add plenty of Jackdaws to it's list of residents, very often eating bugs on the backs of Red and Fallow Deer) and Hampstead Heath- I've seen all 3 species of Wagtail there. Rainham Marshes (anoter RSPB reserve) is well worth a visit, with too many to list, but including Peregrine, Cetti's Warbler, Reed Bunting, and many waders. WWT's London Wetland Centre is another good place for waders and water birds. In the centre, I'd like to add Regent's Park, Kensington Gardens, Finsbury Park, Railway Fields on Green Lanes and St James's Park. Regent's and St James's have semi-captive/captive waterfowl populations, but also good for wild ones. In St James's I've seen Mergansers, Divers, various Warblers amongst others, and Regent's Park is good for finches, Kestrels, Sparrowhawk, Redstart etc. Finsbury Park has 2 different Woodpecker species,a decent sized Murder of Crows, Jays, Egyptian Geese, Cormorants, Pied Wagtails, and in winter Fieldfare and Redwing. Railway Fieds is just lovely, and has numerous songbirds. Kensington Gardens has Mandarins in the trees, Treecreepers, Nuthatches and easy to find
    nesting Tawny Owls. Hope this helps. Try contacting The Urban Birder as it's is speciality, but London is surprisingly bountiful and you don't need to travel an hour outside of it to see interesting things.


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