Bird Watching

Back to Activities

As an early riser you would think I’d be familiar with bird songs and the “dawn chorus”. However if, like me, this is just a collection of “tweets” and “trills” there is often no connection with an image in my mind to associate the bird with the sound and vice versa. So I decided I needed a refresher session, partly prompted by my 2 attempts to the RSPB Great Garden Bird Watch and the loss of an essential wildlife haven close by my home due to a development along the railway line possibly reducing the number of birds in my garden.

I have actually been out on an early morning bird watch with Dominic Couzens once before and this is a decided improvement on scanning my trees armed with a bird book!  Despite the weather being chilly and greyish this time, a good size group of enthusiasts soon gathered. The advantages of being accompanied by an expert like Dominic are that as soon as a bird song can be heard he can call out the name and say where it is coming from.  He identified over 20 species of birds in just over one hour including  dunnocks, chiffchaffs, herons, goldfinches and a cormorant passing over head.  I can heartily recommend the whole experience not to mention the delicious breakfast on offer afterwards at the Pagoda Cafe.  My thanks go to Dominic and Mary who made the event possible and so worthwhile.
Francesca  Snow

If you are interested in coming to a future bird watching event, please e-mail

Bird Watching with Dominic Couzens

Sparrow Hawk

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Many of you will have bird feeders in your garden as I do, possibly not far from a window, and are thrilled by the number of birds that are attracted to them. On a bird watching outing to Pensford Field early one morning this autumn with Dominic Couzens, author and professional field guide, who contributes regularly to Bird Watching and BBC wildlife magazines, we were not only amazed at the number of birds that we saw but the different species too. They included redwings, siskins, greenfinches, a sparrow hawk, a great spotted woodpecker, meadow pipits and rosy ringed parakeets* making a total of 24 species. Perhaps this is not surprising as this urban sanctuary comprises a meadow, woodland and coppice and has a pond, small orchard and bee-hives, providing an ideal reserve for wildlife.
Eagle Owl

Barn Owl

To make our enjoyment complete we were then treated to a special visit by an eagle owl and a barn owl whose owner is a local resident and brought them along for us to admire at close proximity.

We ended the morning at our local Pagoda Café where they were ready with hot drinks and a delicious breakfast for everyone. 


There may be another opportunity to join Dominic on a bird watching morning in the spring so let me know if you are interested. Meanwhile you might like to look at his website


These colourful birds are sometimes loved and sometimes hated as garden visitors. There are concerns of how they may affect our native fauna, and of their impact on fruit-growers. As yet, there has been no problem either way, but as their numbers increase they may become a problem in the future. Despite good numbers of parakeets living in the wild for a long time, and apart from an isolated incidence in Norfolk in 1855, they only started to breed in 1969 in Kent, south-east of London. Since then the population has steadily increased, currently numbers over 5,000 individuals, and is still growing.

Back to Activities

  © Template 'The Lake' by 2008

Back to TOP