England Greater London
The area of Greater London is covered by the London Natural History Society who publish the London Bird Report. The report being based on a 20-mile radius form St Pauls cathedral has covered the same area since it's first publication. It therefore extends into parts of Berks/Bucks, Essex, Herts, Kent and Surrey. The report covers an area of Surrey, that was previously in Middlesex that is not covered by the Surrey Bird Report (which is based on the old vice County of Surrey). The report also covers other small areas that are omitted from other reports due to county boundary changes, but also overlaps with the bird reports covering these respective Counties.
Despite the areas urbanised state, a surprising tally of 349 species have been seen in London, of which 336 have been recorded this century. Whilst undoubtedly central London is Ornithological speaking rather poor, a surprising variety of birds can be seen in some of the parks and on the River Thames that runs east-west through the whole recording area. The Thames dominates the east, where it is tidal, flowing through the remnants of the Thames-side marshes in Essex and Kent, through Central London up to Ham Lock, where the tidal flow stops and the river becomes fresh water. The presence of the tidal Thames has brought many coastal birds into central London. An influx of Guillemots in 1986, were seen as far up as Brentford. The gales of October 1987 brought an influx of sea birds into all parts of the London area, with many Sabine's Gulls being seen, along with Leaches Petrels, Red-necked and Grey Phalaropes; and Pomarine and Great Skuas, along with other birds as a supporting cast. In 1994 a Fulmar was even seen flying under Tower Bridge.
The East, both north and south of the Thames is dominated by the remaining Thames-side marshes, which still attract, but in much reduced numbers Raptors, Owls and other coastal species. The north is dominated by the Lea Valley with it's complex of Gravel Pits and Reservoirs. The West by the gravel pit complexes in the Colne Valley and the West London and Surrey reservoirs and adjacent gravel pits that extend from the M4, southwest towards Molesey. The south is primarily known for Beddington Sewage Farm, which is in the slow process of being turned into a Country Park, and remains to be seen whether ornithologically it will remain important as it is at present.
Changes have occurred, as they have elsewhere through out the UK. Wryneck and Red-backed Shrikes have long since disappeared as London breeding birds, Tree Pipits are declining, Redstarts are now rarely found on territory in the summer, and Willow Tit is declining. But, on the other hand since the 1940s Little Ringed Plover, Collared Dove and Black Redstarts now breed in the area. Wood Larks that disappeared with the Wryneck are making a come back in the West and South on suitable heath land type habitat. Buzzard and Peregrine have bred in the area in recent years. Avocets even managed to breed in 1996 when their usual sites in Norfolk were unsuitable due to winter storm damage, but unfortunately they never repeated the event. Some of the declines are due to habitat loss through expanding urbanisation; others are in line with those experienced in other parts of the UK.
So despite its apparent lack of appeal, London has a wealth of birds to offer, whether it is for the casual birdwatcher, or to those who hunt rarities.
The sites below are within the Greater London area and carry brief accounts of what might be seen at each location. These sites are those that on a regular basis turn up the more interesting birds, as per the London Bird Report - for further details and more sites see the London ornithology website.
Click 'Get Birds Seen' to see a map with map pins on locations of the latest recorded sightings of rare or unusual birds.
*See places other birders go Birding...
Migrant passerines in spring and autumn.
Migrant passerines in spring and autumn.
Bedfont Country Park
Migrants in spring and autumn. Bittern and Smew in winter.
Migrants in spring and autumn, including wildfowl, raptors, terns and passerines. Large Common Tern colony. Wildfowl in winter with the occasional rare Grebes, Bittern and Smew. Moderate sized Gull roost.
Migrant passerines in spring and autumn. Occasionally wintering Stonechat and Dartford warbler. Goosander in winter.
Migrant passerines in spring and autumn. Also a good site for celebrity watching.
Migrant passerines in spring and autumn. Jack Snipe and Stonechat in winter.
King George V Reservoir
Large London reservoir at which anything can turn up at any time if conditions are right. Permit required from Thames Water.
London Wetland Centre [Barn Elms WWT Reserve]
The London Wildfowl & Wetlands Reserve. Migrants and winter wildfowl.
The new RSPB reserve has been an excellant site over the years. Migrant waders in spring and autumn. Wintering passerines, Water Pipit, Twite, occasional Bearded Tit and Lapland Bunting. Large infill site, which attracts white-winged Gulls. The River Thames can turn anything up with seabirds such as Skuas, and wildfowl, including wild Geese, Scooter etc. Virtually a mini inland coastal site, due to the effect of the tidal Thames.
Migrant passerines in spring and autumn. Also has an impressive record of raptors during passage periods.
Migrant passerines in spring and autumn. Breeding Mandarins.
Royal Albert Dock
Good site in winter for wildfowl, including Divers, sea ducks and Smew.
Royal Victoria Dock
Good site in winter for wildfowl, including Divers, sea ducks and Smew.
Viewing from the causeway between the two reservoirs… good for wintering black redstart, passage migrants and winter wildfowl etc. Park very carefully off the road near the old water pumping station.
Large London reservoir, made of a number of smaller areas of water. Does not turn up quite so many good water birds as King George V Reservoir, but has a large Grey Heron and Cormorant colonies. Smew regular in winter.
See Berkshire Page
Rarities: Bob Watts
18 Nightingale Lane, London N8 7QU
*Overall - Andrew Self
16 Harp Island Close, Neasden, London NW10 0DF
Chairman of Records Committee: David Darrell-Lambert
Surrey (old vice County - within London): Nick Tanner
11 Collins House, Newby Place, Poplar, London E14 0AX
Middlesex (old vice County): David Darrell
Lambert Bird Brain UK, Suite 11908, 2nd Floor, 145-157 St John Street, London EC1V 4PY
Kent (within London): John Archer
8 Smead Way, London SE13 7GE
Inner London: Richard Bonser
Flat 7, 96 Rope Street,Surrey Quays, London SE16 7TQ
Herts (within London): Joan Thompson
73 Raglan Gardens, Watford, Hertfordshire WD19 4LJ
Essex (within London): Roy Woodward
62C High Street, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, EN8 0AH
Berks/Bucks (within London): Andrew Moon
46, Highfield Way, Rickmansworth, Herts. WD3 2PR
Number of Species
Number of bird species: 362
[There is no county bird as yet, but several have been suggested including the cockney sparrow, London pigeon (columba livia); Kestrel (symbol of the OS) and Black Redstart which colonised the bombed out buildings after the second world war…]
Fatbirder's very own checklists are now available through WebBirder
Bird-Watching in London - A historical perspective
EM Nicholson 204 pages, map. London Natural History Society 1995
ISBN: 0901009059Buy this book from NHBS.com
Birds of London
By Andrew Self | 432 Pages | 30 Colour Photos | 150+ Illustrations | Christopher Helm | Hardback | Feb 2014 |
See Fatbirder Review
ISBN: 9781408194041Buy this book from NHBS.com
The Breeding Birds of the London Area
Edited by Jan Hewlett 294 pages, line illus, distrib maps. London Natural History Society 2002
ISBN: 0901009121Buy this book from NHBS.com
Where to Watch Birds in the London Area
Dominic Mitchell, Jan Wilczur (Illustrator) Paperback - 240 pages (28 October, 1997) Christopher Helm
ISBN: 9780713638684Buy this book from NHBS.com
London Bird Report (sales)
Catherine Schmitt, 4 Falkland Avenue, London, N3 1QR.
Army Ornithological Society
The Army Ornithological Society is open to all serving and retired members of the Army of any rank, including TA and Commonwealth forces plus MOD Civil Servants or Civil Servants who have served with the army anywhere in the world and their spouses. Others with close connections to the Army may also be eligible at the discretion of the AOS Committee. Members of the RNBWS and RAFOS are also welcome to join AOS expeditions. To join, write to the Secretary AOS, Headquarters Defence Logistics Organisation, Room 7261, MOD Main Building, Whitehall, London, SW1A 2HB Hants, or e-mail ArmyOS@aol.com.
Dartford Ringing Group
We are a group of amateur ornithologists, ringing (banding) wild birds in the counties of Kent and Surrey in the southeast of the United Kingdom. The Dartford Ringing Group was formed in 1968…
East London Birders Forum
ELBF was set up in August 1997 as a forum for local birders to network more easily and to accumulate data on the local avifauna and most importantly to promote the importance of local patch birding. Meetings: 1st Monday of the month (unless that's a bank holiday when its the 2nd) at The Owl PH, Lippitts Hill, High Beech, Loughton at 8 pm (except July & August).
Linnean Society of London
As we enter the 21st century the Linnean Society of London remains a leading forum for contemporary discussions on genetics, natural history, systematics, biology and the history of plant and animal taxonomy. As the world`s oldest extant biological society, we are also proud of our heritage.
London Biodiversity Partnership
The LBP co-ordinate the formulation and implementation of species plans for the protection of habitats and species within the Greater London Authority area.
London Wildlife Trust
The London Wildlife Trust fights to sustain and enhance London`s wildlife habitats to create a city richer in wildlife.
London Natural History Society
The London Natural History Society (LNHS) has 1,300 members whose activities range from the social to the scientific. If you live in or near London; are interested in wildlife and keen to learn more about it; like to visit interesting new places at the week-end; do not necessarily have a car you should join us…
Marylebone Birdwatching Society
Marylebone Birdwatching Society is a society for birdwatchers who live or work in and around central London, with meetings and field trips to sites such as Minsmere. You are welcome to join us, whether you are an experienced ornithologist or just wanting to learn a little more about the birds around you…
RSPB Central London Members Group
The Central London RSPB Members Group website, if you are interested in birdwatching, conservation, natural history, the environment or the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and you live or work in London or are planning a visit…
Our aim is to protect and encourage Swifts, truly amazing birds that live with us for just three months every Summer. We provide advice to homeowners, construction professionals, educators, and government. Find out why Swifts matter, what they give us, and how you can get a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction helping them survive and thrive…
Wildlife Gateway has been created by the Wildlife Trusts in Thames Gateway as part of their commitment to high quality regeneration which delivers for people and wildlife…
Zoological Society of London
In Africa, Asia and the Middle East, ZSL staff are involved in many projects where there are threats to wildlife, but few resources to address them. Find out about ZSL's projects in Ethiopia, Nepal, Rwanda and Saudia Arabia, where our staff work closely with the country's local people and train them to protect and manage their own wildlife…
Capel Manor College - HND Ornithology
A two year ornithology diploma course is available in the London School of Arboriculture, Countryside and the Environment - Capel Manor College offers enviable experience of sites – including our own 160 acre farm, country parks and private grounds – to practise skills and develop projects. Students also benefit from a wide-ranging programme of visits to contrasting woodland, freshwater and grassland habitats, nature reserves and urban greenspace.
Beddington Farmlands, which incorporates Beddington Sewage Farm and Viridor waste management is situated in Greater London / Surrey. Longitude: 00.11w- Latitude: 51.21N- Grid ref: TQ29766581. The site covers about 400 acres of mixed habitats. From a small lake, reed beds, scrubland, sludge beds, shallow pools, meadowland and eventually a flooded grassland area…
Bentley Old Vicarage Nature Reserve
Bentley Old Vicarage Nature Reserve is a small woodland reserve in Harrow, in the north west suburbs of London. (go to How to find it…) Where the reserve is now was the vicarage of All Saints Church, built along with the church itself in 1848. The vicarage fell out of use in 1924 and was finally demolished in 1955. A few of the trees you see now are relicts of the vicarage garden while most have grown up since that time. In 1987 a group of volunteers took over the site and were soon sponsored by the Herts. and Middx. Wildlife Trust…
Hounslow Heath Nature Reserve
Hounslow Heath is a large area of open heathland and scrub woodland of ecological value and was declared a Local Nature Reserve in 1991…
Lee Valley Park
Covering a thousand acres on either side of the River Lee between Waltham Abbey (Essex) and Broxbourne (Herts) River Lee Country Park is a unique patchwork of lakes, waterways, green open spaces and countryside areas all linked together by paths, walkways and cycle tracks. The River Lee Country Park abounds with wildlife throughout the year and is the perfect venue for informal, outdoor recreation.
Birds are well represented with more than 80 species observed annually of which 42 species were known to have bred. Since bird records began in 1974 there have been sightings of 122 species. See also Wimbledon Common
RSPB Reserve - Rainham Marshes
There are only a few ancient landscapes left in London and this RSPB reserve is one of them. Bought from the Ministry of Defence in July 2000, its former use as shooting ranges has preserved much of the original medieval land-form and marshland wildlife and is now the largest remaining expanse of wetland bordering the upper reaches of the Thames Estuary…
Thames Barrier Park - The Birds & Wildlife
As the park overlooks the River Thames many bird species associated with the river can be seen, especially in winter. Grey Herons feed along the shore at low tide and large numbers of Teal and Shelduck join the ubiquitous Mallards at both low and high tide. Cormorants common throughout London can be seen drying themselves at low tide or feeding in the river when the tide is up. Sparrowhawks, Kestrels and occasionally Peregrines can be seen flying over the park. There are several wading birds, which are uncommon on the river such as Redshank, Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher…
Birds are well represented with more than 80 species observed annually of which 42 species were known to have bred. Since bird records began in 1974 there have been sightings of 122 species. See also Putney Common
CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.
2004 [February] - Fraser Simpson
Walton-on-Thames • Barn Elms WWT • River Lee Country Park
2009 [July] - Hans Schick
From July 19 – 27, 2009 I was in Oxford and London. Although this visit was not devoted to birdwatching all birds seen on walks through the cities of Oxford and London were registered. Most of the birds were seen in the ornamental waterfowl collection of Regent's Park in London…
Guides & Tour Operators
If you are planning to visit London, for business or pleasure, and would like an escorted trip to top birding sites around the city and south-east England, then please browse through our website to see what we can offer…
Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…
West London Birding
Are you a birder? Are you visiting London either for a holiday or business? Perhaps you are new to birdwatching and need some pointers or want to brush up your identification skills. Maybe you are changing flights or have a layover and have a few hours or a day to spare? Do you want to see parts of the UK that you wouldn’t normally see from an airport lounge, a hotel room or an office in the city? Why not book a tour with West London Birding?
Places to Stay
Woodpecker Cottage - Nr Heathrow Airport
Woodpecker Cottage sits in acre of pretty garden, with lawns, surrounded by woods which are carpeted by bluebells in spring. There is a rich variety of birdlife (including woodpeckers) and deer, foxes and other wildlife are often to be seen.
Forums & Mailing Lists
East London Birders Forum
Welcome to the website of the ELBF. Mike Dent got the group going in August 1997 as a forum for local birders to network more easily and to accumulate data on the local avifauna and most importantly to promote the importance of local patch birding. It has evolved somewhat over the last ten years with the creation of our website and our continued involvement in local events and surveys. We have become the information hub for this area but rely on your records and photos to keep things fresh and up to date.
500 Birds In 365 Days
Trying to spot 500 birds of Britain in one year…
Welcome to my birdwatching blog. This blog will contain stories about my bird watching trips, interesting bird news and other tales that may or may not be bird related. I want to make it useful to the avid birder as well as those who may only have a passing interest in bird watching. I enjoy photographing bird life, common and rare through a spotting scope, not that they always sit still long enough for me. Being on the outskirts of North East London, my reports will not only cover my local patch of Redbridge/Waltham Forest, but also dip into deepest Essex, Suffolk, Kent and Norfolk…
Urban patch watching in West London and beyond, and rubbish pictures to go with it…
Dave Morrison - Mo Birding
…welcome to my blog. I Have been birding around the Hornchurch and Rainham area for 20 years now and enjoy local patch birding.I also enjoy birds of prey,and have travelled abroad to watch and photograph them…
Jim's Birding Blog
A diary of birds and birding trips…
This is my birding and nature blog mostly about my local patch Beddington Farmlands which is being developed into a nature reserve within the Wandle Valley Regional Park in South London. I live and work from Beddington Farmlands and operate Little Oak, an environmental management company that looks after green spaces in our local area. I also have my foreign patch on the Azores where I escape to at every available opportunity…
I’m (Tim Ball) a forty something birder keen to share my passion with the wider world. Although given a copy of the Observer Book of Birds by my father at Wicken Fen NNR in 1972 I have only recently begun to take this wonderful hobby seriously. I do most of my birding in north London (my local patch is Alexandra Park close to where I live), on the north Norfolk coast, and on the occasional business trip to Singapore. I have a wonderful wife and two children who enjoy watching birds with me or at least tolerate me watching birds…
Parliament Peregrines Diary
A diary of the Parliament pair and other London Peregrines…
Parus’ Birding BLOG
In which we discuss all sorts of birding failure…
Birding Tower Bridge so you don't have to! Harrow Lodge Park isn't exactly renowned locally for its abundant bird life, but it has a lake and its 5 minutes walk away so with the evenings getting lighter it makes for a nice hour and a half's stroll with the chance of a couple of Pochard, and the certainty of a whole load of Tufties
An amateur photographer. I started this blog to follow the buildup to a visit to the Falklands to shoot penguins. I'm now back and my next big trip has not yet been defined!
The Cowboy Birder
So…who or what is "The Cowboy Birder". Well, it's a pseudonym, character or personality I assume when I have my other hat on! That of a birder or dare I whisper it a 'filthy twitcher' - and before anyone asks, there are currently no plans to wear a ten gallon hat, chaps and a set of spurs and I won't be arriving at the next big twitch by horse!
The Urban Birder
Birds are everywhere in the city, you just have to look… an excellent site proving the webmaster's maxim - never leave home without your bins…
Therese Goes Birding
Birder based in London…
Clayton Burne - London - The more I travel, the more I realise how little of the world I have seen. My early life in South Africa was comfortable in the confined boundaries of a singular entity - the Southern African list. But in my early twenties, I travelled trans-continental for the first time and opened Pandora's Box..
Birding around the Ingrebounre Valley, Rainham Marshes and Twitching the country with the East London Birders. Shaun Harvey has been birding the Ingrebourne Valley for 15 years and twitching the country for 6 years…
Re-born birder working a sub-urban patch…
We are both very keen birders and photograghers we are both at a very young age of thirteen. our names are Matthew Foakes and Jamie Croft. We visit nature reserves around the U.k. We aim to see 150 birds this year last year only got 112…
Are you looking to buy binoculars? Then you have come to exactly the right place! We offer an impressive range of binoculars and accessories and are considered the leading expert when it comes to high-quality optics. We officially supply Bresser, Zeiss and Bushnell binoculars as well as many more brands that are popular in the UK…
Bird Feeding Station
At the Bird Feeding Station we have a real passion for wild birds. We have years of experience of caring, feeding and encouraging birds to our own gardens. Now we want to share our knowledge to help the declining bird population and to help people enjoy watching and interacting with wild birds in their own gardens…
Birding in London
This web site aims give information on Londons birds. What can be seen, where to see them, who to contact and which other web sites will assist you in your quest.
Birdline East Anglia
What's about? Simply phone 09068 700245. Please report your bird sightings to phone/text 07941333970 or e firstname.lastname@example.org - Calls to 09068 700245 cost 60p/min from a BT landline other networks may vary
Since 1997, conservation of the black redstart has raised its red tail above the parapet as an issue in urban Britain, specifically London. This website aims to draw on all the recent successes and information available in this field, one that is more pressing since the publication of the Government`s Urban White Paper in 2000. Amongst many welcome proposals, this targets urban brownfields for development and regeneration. Such areas support many of the strong holds of the black redstart in the UK.
Fraser's Birding Website
This site primarily contains reports of my birding trips from the last few years. Sightings from the London area and Ayrshire in SW Scotland are posted regularly…
Photos of British garden birds taken from our back garden in West Wickham which show the variety of garden birds that we've seen over the past couple of years (39 photographed species so far). For a few birds I've also put a link to an additional overflow page where I think that I've got more than five reasonable shots worth sharing…
Welcome to the home page of London's Birding - the only website you need to look at to find out all about birding in London. If it`s the latest news you are seeking, details of what events are being held, links to birding sites in London, what books and reports are available, or how to tell someone what you`ve seen then this is the site for you.
Hello! I'm Jamie, a keen amateur birdwatcher. From 9 - 12 March 2007 I'll be exploring London, trying to see as many different bird species as possible to raise money for Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust's London Wetland Centre…
The BTO London Bird Project
London is a surprisingly green city and its many parks and open spaces are major contributors to urban biodiversity. Birds are the most frequently encountered urban wildlife, yet, despite their popularity (an estimated 75% of households provide food for birds in their gardens), little is known about the populations of birds in cities and suburbs…
We're a bunch of birders from South London who over the past few years have all become a bit jaded with our local bird club. They couldn't offer us what we wanted. They weren't hardcore enough for us. They wouldn't kip in a car each night for three months (actually, only one of us did that) They couldn't do overnight drives to Scotland for White-tailed Plovers. They wouldn't twitch The Gower AND Anglesey in the same day (who in their right mind would?) We bloody well could though!!!
Photographers & Artists
Artist - Andy Maguire
This site contains my paintings and drawings. There are five sections each containing a different aspect of my work. To access each just click on the titles above, e.g., Wildlife. There are approx 60 paintings and about the same number of drawings…
Photographer - Anthony Miners Wildlife Photos
I was born in Redruth Cornwall and whilst I now live in Enfield I still regard Cornwall as home. I spend a great deal of time in Cornwall usually at weekends and stay at the family home in Marazion. I have always been interested in wildlife and photography and in 2009 started to combine both interests. Most of the photos shown on this site will be taken in Cornwall but from time to time there may be images from parts of England. The images featured will mainly be birds but at times other wildlife images may be displayed…
Photographer - Fraser S. Simpson
DSLR and digiscoped Bird Photographs
Photographer - Ian Coleman
Some very nice bird portraits from this Middlesex based photographer…
Webcam - London Feeder
Some nice shots of London's feeder using birds…