Can You See 200 Species Of Birds In Britain In 2021 You Probably Could

Knot arrive 1

Seeing birds lifts our spirits and makes us smile - see more in 2021.

Our friends at Birdwatching Magazine are again encouraging their readers to try the “200 Challenge” and get out more to enjoy watching birds. What a wonderful idea if you have not seen Birdwatching Magazine we highly recommend you subscribe to this monthly publication – worth it to read Ruth’s regular column alone! The magazine is packed with great advice on how to enjoy your birdwatching even more and lots of amazing photographs to inspire you to see more birds here and abroad.

A Song Thrush one of some forty bird species you can probably find close to home.

By setting a target of seeing 200 species of birds here in the UK in 2021 it gives a little extra motivation to keep going out and every time you do you will be glad you did, watching birds is so very good for us and even more so in these turbulent times. It also allows you to learn about your local birds and where to find them, it is great fun planning a walk or a day out, when allowed, to see different birds in different habitats. This planning can be a real benefit to your mental health too, by concentrating on the plan and thinking about the birds you might see it pushes all the stressful stuff to one side, albeit temporarily.

Robin at RSPB Conwy

Getting out regularly and enjoying birds will make you feel so much better - Robin.

Now you might be thinking 200 species of birds in 2021 is impossible for me, but you don’t have to see 200 but just try and see how you go. Maybe you will learn a lot about your local birds, where is good and where is not so good for birds and in future years draw on the knowledge and build on it. The 200 challenge is simply a way to encourage us all to do more birdwatching. In most places across the UK there will be at least forty species of bird that you can enjoy within walking distance of home, yes there are! You might be amazed if you make a note of all the species you enjoy on your walks. One fun thing to do is have a look at the map of your local area, or an online satellite image, and look for different habitats within reach of home. Of course in these lockdown times that is pretty limited but things will get better and fun to look forward and plan birdwatching trips further afield. Look at your local area for different habitats that will add different birds to your 200 in 2021 challenge, woodland, and heath-land, water bodies, coasts will add new birds and add variety to your exercise walks. Just this week we did exactly that and planned a new walk from home here in Llandudno that took us through woodland a habitat missing from our regular walks on the Great Orme. And guess what? We added new species to our 2021 bird list and we really enjoyed the change of scenery too.

Great crested Grebe adult Aug 1

Where will you see a beautiful Great Crested Grebe in 2021?

As well as looking at habitats turn it around and look at species you think might be possible and then try and find suitable habitat for that species. For example if you have not seen a Great Crested Grebe yet look for a decent sized water body, a lake or reservoir, and try visit and see if one is present and perhaps other new species too?

Another great way to see more birds is to keep looking! Wherever you are and whatever else you are doing keep looking for birds. We don’t have a garden, just a small concrete yard that we look down on from our flat window and yesterday we were delighted to see a Blackcap on a small patch of ivy clinging to the concrete wall, just wonderful to enjoy. Looking up is always great advice too and we should all be doing that it is amazing what flies right over us! One of the many wonderful things about birdwatching we can enjoy just about everywhere.

Some birds to look for between now and the coming spring could include..

Redwing – a winter thrush from Scandinavia that can be found in parks, fields and woodland look out for that bold white line above the eye.

Wigeon Sept Cley

Eurasian Wigeon – most of the Wigeon seen in the UK come here for the winter and they are widespread so look for them at lakes, reservoirs, marshes and coast.

Great spotted Woodpecker Garten 1

Great Spotted Woodpecker – a resident bird but easier to see when the trees are bare of leaves and they are just starting to “drum” on dead branches giving away their presence, look out and listen for them in gardens and woodlands.

Goldcrest Great Orme Oct 2016 1

Goldcrest – our smallest birds and again can be easier to see when the trees and bushes are bare. They sometimes move with flocks of tits in the winter so check each bird carefully if you encounter a feeding flock. Look out for these tiny gems in woodlands, parks, scrub and large gardens.

Lesser Redpoll

Lesser Redpoll – a small finch and a bit more of a challenge to find this one. Many Lesser Redpoll winter in the UK and can sometimes be found feeding with Siskins in mixed flocks so potential for two good birds. They love alder trees and often in damp locations – along streams, river banks and wet patches of woodland.

Lapwing morfa mad

Lapwing – these most beautiful waders form big flocks in the winter and can be found on open farmland, marshes and at the coast. If we have snow and or prolonged icy weather these flocks often move around to look for open ground to feed so a classic example of a “look up” species! They could be seen flying over any part of the UK in big flocks. If you do find a Lapwing flock check carefully for Golden Plover amongst them as the two species like the same habitats in winter and often form mixed flocks.

The big message about the 200 in 2021 challenge is to get out more and enjoy more birds! Birds are so good for us and they take us to wonderful places and we can share our love of birds with other people. It is amazing if you bring birds into a conversation with anyone most people will have a bird “story” to share. Birds lift the spirits and bring us joy so get out and enjoy more birds whenever you can!

You can find out lots more about Birdwatching Magazines “My 200 Bird Year” challenge by visiting….

Get involved and share your birdwatching adventures and sightings.

Of course a wonderful way to see more birds is to join one of our Birdwatching Trips and learn a lot about the birds you are enjoying too. We have tours suitable for all from beginners to experienced birders that are seeking particular species. Just drop us a line here and we can arrange a perfect tour for you!

Please see here for dates of Tours for Two in September and come and join us..

UK Tours

During your "My 200 Big Year" challenge every species of bird counts - Jackdaw.

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