Orange tip butterflies are usually found along hedgerows and in scrubby areas in springtime. Only the males have orange tips on their wings; the females are mainly white.
Ringlet butterflies can be seen between June and August, mainly in grassy areas. They can often be seen feeding on the flowers of brambles and are one of the few butterflies that will fly when it’s cloudy.
Large white or cabbage white butterflies like to feed on members of the cabbage family. They can be seen between April and October and live in a variety of habitats.
Distinctive Y mark on wings.
Derived from profile of old woman on wings. Caterpillars feed mainly on clovers.
Distinctive thick snout.
Distinctive furry head.
Can see all four wings when sitting.
Day flying moth with red/pink wing spots. Conspicious black and yellow striped caterpillars that mainly feed on ragwort.
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.
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.
Goldfinches are a very colourful bird that can be seen all year round, often feeding on thistle seed heads in scrubby and grassland areas.
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
Our largest and most common pigeon, the woodpigeon is a familiar bird of gardens, parks, woodlands and farmlands right across the country. Its husky ‘hoo-hroo’ call is a well-known sound of the country. Woodpigeons feed on seeds, leaves, grains, fruit,
The crow that we are most familiar with, the Carrion Crow is all black and makes a hoarse, cawing sound. Carrion Crows make big nests out of twigs, rags, bones, and anything else they can find, which they hide in
Rooks are large crows that make big nests out of twigs in the top of trees, and gather in large colonies known as ‘rookeries'; they often nest in villages and graveyards, but are also birds of farmland and grassland. The
Our smallest crow, the Jackdaw is a bird of woodland, parkland, coasts and urban areas. The Jackdaw nests in holes in trees, and on cliffs and buildings: sometimes it will even make a nest in a chimney! It eats invertebrates,
Cuckoos are migrant birds that usually arrive in April and leave in August. They lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, such as reed warblers, who raise the cuckoo chick as their own. The distinctive call of the
House martins are smaller than swallows but arrive at a similar time in spring. They hunt for insects on the wing and build mud nests under the eaves of buildings, hence their name.
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
Kestrels are a small bird of prey that can often be seen hovering whilst hunting for small mammals above areas of grassland. They can be seen all year round.
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.
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
This is a species which skulks in the undergrowth, creeping through bushes and low foliage, and which is very difficult to see except sometimes when singing from a prominent position. The song, which gives this species its name, is a
Red kites are scavengers that can be seen all year round, often feeding on road kill. They were hunted almost to extinction in the 19th century but have recently been successfully reintroduced to Northamptonshire and are now a common sight
A very familiar gamebird, pheasants are large, colourful and have a long tail. Common in farmland and woodland throughout Britain, the males’ loud, sharp, croaking call can be heard resonating through the countryside before the bird is actually seen. Pheasants
Magpies are one of our most familiar birds and the source of much myth and legend – ‘one for sorrow, two for a joy’ is a rhyme that many children learn. Magpies are, in fact, small crows, and are omnivorous,
Green woodpeckers are often seen feeding on ants in grassy areas near to trees. They have a distinct laughing call and can be seen all year round.
Dunnocks are a very common bird but their dull colours and secretive behaviour means that they often go unnoticed. They live in a variety of habitats including woodland and scrub and feed mainly on insects, berries and seeds.
The Bullfinch is a large, plump finch which feeds on buds and fruit in woodlands, hedgerows, parklands, gardens and orchards. Beautiful, easy to tame and skilful at mimicry, it was often taken as a cage-bird in times past. Shy and
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
Starlings are very familiar birds of farmland, parks, gardens and towns. Sociable birds, they spend a lot of their time in large flocks, roosting and performing sweeping, aerial displays – they can often be seen moving fluidly through a winter’s
Barn owls are nocturnal hunters, feeding mainly on small mammals such as mice and voles in open, grassy habitats. Their numbers dropped in the last century due to pesticide use by farmers. However, they are now protected by law and
The meadow pipit is a very common nesting bird of moorland, heathland and rough grassland. In the autumn and winter it moves out of upland areas to lowlands where it gathers in small flocks and can also be found on
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