Common Buzzard Buteo buteo ©Michael Colquhoun Website

The recording area of Herefordshire (area 36 in the Watsonian system) is co-terminus with a ceremonial county in the West Midlands of England. It borders Shropshire to the north, Worcestershire to the east, Gloucestershire to the southeast, and Wales (Radnorshire & Brecknockshire) to the west.

The county is one of the most rural and sparsely populated in England and the land use is mostly agricultural and the county is well known for its fruit and cider production, and the Hereford cattle breed. It covers an area of over 2,000 square kilometres (800 square miles) with a population of less than 200,000 people. After the county town of Hereford the largest settlements are Leominster, Ross-on-Wye and Ledbury.

The centre of Herefordshire is comparatively flat and crossed by the River Wye, which at 135 miles is the fifth-longest in the United Kingdom. It enters the county after briefly being its border with Wales. It flows through both Hereford and Ross-on-Wye before returning to Wales. Leominster is situated on the River Lugg, a tributary of the Wye.

The Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal and The Leominster & Stourport Canal were constructed in the nineteenth century, but they were never successful and there are now few remains to be seen. The Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal is currently the subject a restoration project, which includes the construction of a new canal basin in Hereford city centre. The project, however, is being undertaken by a small voluntary group and there is no expected date for any part of the canal to re-open for boating. In the west the ground rises to the Black Mountains range; this contains the Black Mountain (Twyn Llech) itself, which lies on the Welsh border and is the highest point in the county at just over 70o metres (2,300 ft).

There are two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the county. The Wye Valley is located in the river’s valleys south of Hereford, while the Malvern Hills are in the east of the county, along its border with Worcestershire.

Birding Herefordshire

Herefordshire Ornithological Club, one of Britain’s longest established and friendliest bird clubs, was founded in 1950 and has over 300 members. Its aims have always been the study and conservation of the birdlife in the county. It publishes reports and accounts of such research and surveys and make them available to other bodies that may be able to make use of the information as it effects conservation and planning in the county.

Herefordshire is lucky to be mostly unspoilt and rural with a mixture of farmland, deciduous woodland (great for summer visitors like Wood Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and Redstart) with some conifer plantation (holding Crossbills, Siskin and Coal Tits). In its uplands there are a few Red Grouse, along with Ring Ousel and Wheatears. The mixed habitat means there is suitable places for most diurnal Birds of Prey and Owls. There are small commons and some gravel extraction creating pits in the north of the county but wetlands are scarce.

Top Sites
  • Barnett Wood

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    One mile west of Wigmore. Park by minor road one mile west of A4110 from Wigmore at bottom of hill. Then take track and paths south. Woodland birds.
  • Bircher Common & Fishpool Valley

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    Seven miles SW of Ludlow. Car park half-mile northwest of B4362 from Cock Gate. Then follow paths and nature trails north and west through the woods and up the valley to Bircher and Leinthall Commons. Woodland birds and summer warblers.
  • Bodenham Lake

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    Five miles south of Leominster the lake is now an official nature reserve run by the County Council. It has a hide, and there is a car park at the entrance. Otherwise view from minor road 1.5 mile east of A417. Wildfowl, passage terns and waders.
  • Brockhall Gravel Pits

    InformationSatellite View,-2.6016403,397m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m6!3m5!1s0x48704dc324d15ea7:0xe0db206e6230a033!8m2!3d52.0152566!4d-2.6016928!16s%2Fg%2F11hfxb1ym2?entry=ttu
  • HOC Top Sites

    Annotated map of the best sites.
  • Haugh Wood

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  • High Vinnalls

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  • Olchon Valley

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    Two to four miles north-west of Longtown. There are three parking areas: at Black Darren grid ref. SO297300; the Ford at grid ref. SO274337 and at Black Hill grid ref. SO287330. Then paths to hills, woods and Olchon Brook. Woodland and upland species including Red Grouse, Peregrine and Ring Ouzel.
  • Wellington Gravel Pits

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    Three and a half miles north of Hereford. Entrance to site south of minor road, half a mile east of A49 at grid ref. Go to porta-cabin adjoining weighbridge and book in. Then southeast to disused gravel pits. Wildfowl, passage terns and waders.
  • Mick Colquhourn


County Recorder
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 281

    County Bird - Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
Useful Reading

  • The Birds of Herefordshire 2007-2012

    | (An Atlas of Their Breeding and Wintering Distributions) | by Mervyn Davies, Peter Eldridge, Chris Robinson, Nick Smith & Gerald Wells | Liverpool University Press | 2014 | Hardback | October 2014 | 446 pages, 200 colour photos, b/w illustrations, 348 colour distribution maps, colour tables | Out of Print | ISBN: 9781781381267 Buy this book from
  • Where to Watch Birds in West Midlands

    | By F Gribble, G Harrison, H Griffiths, J Winsper & S Coney | Christopher Helm | 2007 | Paperback | 343 pages, 53 maps, 24 line drawings | ISBN: 9780713664195 Buy this book from
  • Herefordshire Ornithology Club

    The Club takes an active interest in all local conservation issues and has ties with national and local conservation bodies. The records are summarised in the Annual Report but have recently been published in some detail as: “The Birds of Herefordshire 2007-2012 An Atlas of their breeding and wintering distributions”. A large proportion of the membership was engaged in some aspect of this production.
  • Herefordshire Wildlife Trust

    Herefordshire WildlifeTrust is the largest membership-based wildlife organisation in the area, dedicated to inspiring people about wildlife, acting as a wildlife champion, creating wildlife havens and encouraging sustainable living.
  • Queenswood Wildlife Watch

    Herefordshire Wildlife Trust’s Queenswood Wildlife Watch Club is for 8 to 12 year olds and runs at Queenswood Country Park & Arboretum once a month.

Abbreviations Key

  • *Herefordshire Wildlife Trust Reserves

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  • CP Queenswood Country Park and Arboretum

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    Woodland birds include great spotted, lesser spotted and green woodpeckers, willow, garden and wood warblers, chiffchaffs and blackcaps. Butterflies found at Queenswood include the silver-washed fritillary and purple hairstreak which both thrive in the oak woodlands.
  • LNR Bodenham Lake

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    Bodenham Lake is an important overwintering and breeding area for birds and other aquatic wildlife, so approximately half of the site is managed as a wildlife refuge with restricted public access. More than 170 bird species have been seen here.
  • LNR Doward Hills

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    Rare species such as the wood white, grizzled skipper and white admiral butterflies, wood warblers, hawfinches and lesser spotted woodpeckers all breed here.
  • LNR Lea & Paget's Wood

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    One of the finest, ancient, semi-natural broad-leaved woodlands left in the Wye valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is home to a small population of pied flycatchers, all three woodpecker species and many warblers.
  • LNR Merrivale Wood

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    The wood provides valuable habitats for a range of woodland birds, including blackcap and marsh tit. Most of the common woodland butterflies are to be found here in summer along open glades and woodland margins.
  • LNR Queenswood & Bodenham Lake

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    Once part of the vast ancient oak wood that once stretched to the Welsh borders and beyond, today Queenswood Country Park and Arboretum comprises 123 acres of ancient native woodland, designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) surrounding a 47 acre tree collection with over 1,200 rare and exotic trees from all over the world.
  • LNR Titley Pool

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    It is a suitable breeding site for great crested grebes. It also attracts flocks of wintering duck, particularly teal, tufted duck, pochard and gosander. In summer, dragonflies and damselflies hawk insects over the water. Fish in the Pool, providing prey for grey herons, grebes and goosander, include perch, roach, eel and pike.
  • NNR Hereford's National Nature Reserves

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  • NNR Moccas Park

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    Moccas Park is one of the largest and most diverse examples of wood pasture remaining in Britain. Moccas Park is closed to the public as our tenure of the land does not allow public access, except for certain special events and for those holding a visitor’s permit.
Sightings, News & Forums
  • E-Bird Herefordshire

  • HerefordshireBirds

    Birding news, sightings & info for Herefordshire
  • Sightings of birds in Herefordshire

    We encourage the submission of all sightings that might interest or help others who watch birds in Herefordshire. Sightings are informal reports of interesting birds that have been seen in the county and this page is primarily intended to inform others so that they might also see the bird.
Places to Stay
  • Burton Hotel

    The Burton Hotel is an attractively modernised coaching inn set in the heart of a small market town near the Welsh border. Situated on Offa`s Dyke Long Distance Footpath, Kington is a natural centre for Rambling, Fishing, Bird watching
  • Sink Green Farm

    A very warm friendly welcome awaits you at Sink Green Farm with its 16th. Century stone farmhouse overlooking the picturesque River Wye, set in 170 acres of the beautiful peaceful Herefordshire countryside, yet only three miles from the Cathedral City of Hereford. Our livestock farm has an abundance of wildlife, especially birds which include kingfishers, herons and swans. Ideal for those who would like a relaxing holiday or somewhere to unwind after the pressures of business.
Other Links
  • The Wild Bird Store

    Welcome to the Wild Bird Store, Herefordshire’s only dedicated specialist supplier of wild bird food and accessories. …
  • Wiggly Wigglers

    Birds love live food - Protein is necessary in the diet of all wild birds and one of the best sources of this is live food. The decrease in bird habitats through intensively farmed land and consequent loss of hedgerows, copses and woodland has seen a continuing decline in natural sources of live food such as worms, larvae, and beetles. Supplying this food at your garden birdtable is therefore becoming very important for a whole range of birds from Robins and Wrens to the less common Woodpeckers and Tits
Photographers & Artists
  • Photographer - Mick Colquhoun Photography

    I have been taking photographs since I was a child, growing up with B & W and a home darkroom. I wanted to photograph birds for as long as I can remember but had to wait until I had finished university and could afford a decent camera. After a career in the NHS, retirement has now given me more time for photography and to develop this website.

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