Grass snakes are excellent swimmers and feed mainly on amphibians. Being cold blooded, they are most commonly seen basking in the sun on areas of bare ground.
Toads spend most of their time away from water, living mainly in damp places but returning to ponds and ditched to breed. They eat mainly invertebrates and are mostly active at night.
Common frogs need to stay damp and so are usually found near to freshwater. They feed mainly on insects and hibernate in the winter under stones or in other damp places.
Common newts are usually found in ponds and ditches during the breeding season (Spring and Summer) and feed on insects and crustaceans. In winter, they hibernate mainly in wooded areas, under logs and stones.
Otters live in rivers and streams and feed on fish and shellfish, hunting mainly at night. They have very thick fur to keep them warm when they swim and live in underground burrows known as holts. Otters used to be
This medium sized bat feeds mainly over water, trawling its feet across the surface to catch insects.
Water shrews are excellent swimmers and will dive for their food.
Smallest and most common British bat.
A recent species, only distinguished from the common pipistrelle (P pipistrelles) in 1999 based on different-frequency echo-location calls. The common pipistrelle uses a call of 45 kHz, while the soprano pipistrelle echo-locates at 55 kHz. The two are sometimes called the
Mink are an invasive species and a breeding population established following their escape from fur farms throughout the 1900’s. They are generally blamed for the drastic decline in water vole populations.
Kingfishers live mainly along rivers and, despite their bright colours, can be difficult to see due to their small size and fast flight. They feed mainly on small fish and can be seen all year round, breeding in holes in
A common dabbling duck, particularly during the winter, Shovelers feed by sweeping their broad bills back and forth through the water, filtering out small invertebrates, plant seeds and other plant matter.
Teal are winter visitors to the UK where they live on freshwater lakes and the surrounding wet grassland, feeding on insects and plants.
Wigeon are winter visitos to the UK, arriving in large flocks to feed on wet grassland.
The mallard is a very common species and can be seen all year round, usually near water where it likes to feed on aquatic plants and insects.
A fairly common dabbling duck the Gadwall is only a little smaller than a Mallard. It nests in small numbers in the UK, on freshwater lakes with a lot of vegetation, but can be seen in larger numbers in winter
Greylag geese are a common species that can be seen all year round. They like to live near fresh water but can often be found grazing on short grass. They can migrate long distances and make a loud honking noise.
The great white egret can look similar to the little egret but as the name suggests they are much larger, similar to the size of a grey heron. Great white egrets are an occasional visitor and favour all kinds of wetland
Herons are a very common species and can be seen all year round near to fresh water. They hunt fish and amphibians at the water’s edge and often stand stock still waiting for their prey to swim past.
Tufted duck live on freshwater and can be seen all year round. They usually dive to find food including aquatic insects and shellfish.
Canada geese are a very common species and can be seen all year round near to fresh water. They feed mainly on aquatic plants and grass and will often fly in a ‘V’ shaped formation.
Black-headed gulls are a common species and can be found near freshwater and at the coast throughout the year. They feed mainly on insects but will also scavenge for scraps on rubbish tips. The black head is part of the
The mute swan is a very common species and can be seen all year round, usually near water where it likes to feed on aquatic plants and insects. It is called a ‘mute’ swan because it can’t make any noise
The Little Egret is a small, white heron which feeds on small fish and crustaceans. Once a very rare visitor from the Mediterranean, Little Egrets are now a common sight around the coasts of southern England and Wales as they
The hobby is Britain’s only migratory falcon and it arrives in April to breed in the disused nests of crows. It is an excellent flier and hunts dragonflies and other birds, such as swallows on the wing. It can be
The common sandpiper is a smallish wading bird which breeds along fast-moving rivers and near lakes, lochs and reservoirs in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the north of England. Wintering birds may be spotted along the south coast but passage
The male Goldeneye is a handsome diving duck. Apart from a small breeding population in the highlands of Scotland, most Goldeneye only spend the winter in this country, particularly on larger lakes and reservoirs. Goldeneye never really gather in large
Lapwings feed on insects and other invertebrates and can be seen all year round, although greater numbers can be seen in winter. They like areas of wet grassland and breed on bare ground.
Golden plovers are winter visitors to the UK where they feed on invertebrates on wet grassland and farmland.
The coot is a very common species and can be seen all year round, usually near water where it likes to feed on aquatic plants and insects. It has a white bill.
Snipe are secretive birds that live in muddy lake and river margins and wet grassland. They feed on insects and can be found all year round, except for a few weeks in summer, when they leave to breed.
The moorhen is a very common species and can be seen all year round, usually near water where it likes to feed on aquatic plants and insects. They like to hide in the reeds at the edge of the water
Oystercatchers are mainly summer visitors, feeding on insects and shellfish in the mud and meadows around lakes and rivers.
Swallows are migratory birds that spend the winter in Africa and arrive in the UK in April. They feed mainly on flying insects and often build their mud nests on the sides of buildings, returning to the same spot year
The lesser black-backed gull can be found on farmland, wetlands and around the coast. It is a large, elegant gull just a little smaller than herring gull. The world’s population of this gull can be found entirely in Europe; in
Cormorants are a common species often found near fresh and salt water. They feed on fish and often be seen standing with their wings stretched out (we’re still not quite sure why they do this).
Great crested grebes are a common species found mainly on freshwater throughout the year. They are excellent divers and feed mainly on small fish and aquatic insects. During the breeding season, the birds stick out their crests and perform an
A small relative of the moorhen and coot and about the same size as a redshank, water rails live in reedbeds and freshwater wetlands where they feed on invertebrates and small fish. Secretive and rarely seen they are more often
Sand martins are common summer visitors, arriving in March and leaving in October. They nest in colonies, digging burrows in steep, sandy cliffs, usually around water, so are commonly found on wetland sites. The tunnels they bore can be up
Common terns are summer visitors that can usually be seen swooping over lakes whilst hunting for fish.
Grebes are diving waterbirds, feeding on small fish and aquatic invertebrates. The Little Grebe or ‘Dabchick’, as it is sometimes known, is our smallest grebe, about half the size of a Moorhen. Grebes nest on floating platforms made up of
This large duck likes to live on mud-flats in coastal areas and inland lakes. They can be seen all year round and feed mainly on insects and shellfish.
A common and familiar bird, the pied wagtail is often seen in towns and cities, dashing across lawns, roads and car parks while wagging its long tail up and down. Pied wagtails eat insects but will feed on seeds and
The goosander is a large duck of rivers and lakes in forested areas. It eats fish and nests in holes in trees.
In winter, old catkins remain and look like clusters of small pine cones.
Fluffy, downy seeds blown by wind in late summer and autumn. Slimmer than bulrush with gap between female (red flowers) and male (yellow) flowers.
Fluffy, downy seeds blown by wind in late summer and autumn. Fatter than lesser bulrush with no gap between female (red flowers) and male (yellow) flowers.
Flowers and leaves float on surface of water.
Usually found floating on the surface of freshwater.
Whole plant very hairy. Daisy-like flowers.
Very thick stem. Flowers smaller than other buttercups with a large, green centre.
Also know as pussy willow.
Tufted seed heads (similar to a dandelion).
Prickly, round fruit (burrs) growing directly on stem.
Hairy square stem. Traditionally used as a wound dressing in herbal medicine.
Also known as himalayan balsam this plant is an invasive species commonly found on river banks.