Magpie Pica pica

With its noisy chattering, black-and-white plumage and long tail, there is nothing else quite like the magpie in the UK. When seen close-up its black plumage takes on an altogether more colourful hue with a purplish-blue iridescent sheen to the wing feathers, and a green gloss to the tail. Magpies seem to be jacks of all trades - scavengers, predators and pest-destroyers, their challenging, almost arrogant attitude has won them few friends. Non-breeding birds will gather together in flocks.
Photo: © Kevin B Ager

Nuthatch Sitta europaea

The nuthatch is a plump bird about the size of a great tit that resembles a small woodpecker. It is blue-grey above and whitish below, with chestnut on its sides and under its tail. It has a black stripe on its head, a long black pointed bill, and short legs. It breeds in central and southern England and in Wales, and is resident, with birds seldom travelling far from the woods where they hatch. Seen all year round. Eat insects, hazel nuts, acorns, beechmast and other nuts and seed.
Photo: © Nottsexminer

Robin Erithacus rubecula

The UK's favourite bird - with its bright red breast it is familiar throughout the year and especially at Christmas! Males and females look identical, and young birds have no red breast and are spotted with golden brown. Robins sing nearly all year round and despite their cute appearance, they are aggressively territorial and are quick to drive away intruders. They will sing at night next to street lights. Seen all year round. Eats worms, seeds, fruits and insects.
Photo: © Nottsexminer

Song thrush Turdus philomelos

A familiar and popular garden songbird whose numbers are declining seriously, especially on farmland making it a Red List species. Smaller and browner than a mistle thrush with smaller spotting. Its habit of repeating song phrases distinguish it from singing blackbirds. It likes to eat snails which it breaks into by smashing them against a stone with a flick of the head. Seen all year round. Eats worms, snails and fruit.
Photo: © Neil Cheesman

Spotted flycatcher Muscicapa striata

At first glance, spotted flycatchers might seem dull brownish-grey and - well - a bit boring. It's better to think of them as beautiful in an understated way. Watch them for a short period and you'll be charmed by their fly-catching antics. Spotted flycatchers fly from a high perch, dash out to grab a flying insect and return to the same spot. They're one of the later spring migrants to arrive, not turning up until late April or early May. They leave around September. They eat moths, butterflies, damselflies, craneflies and other tasty morsels. If the weather is bad, they will search trees and shrubs for other insect food.
Photo: © Kevin B Agar

Whitethroat Sylvia communis

The whitethroat is a medium-sized warbler, about the size of a great tit. It has quite a long tail which it flicks and cocks as it darts rapidly in and out of cover. The male has a grey head, a white throat and a brown back, and is buff underneath. It is a summer visitor and passage migrant, with birds breeding widely, although it avoids urban and mountainous areas. It winters in Africa, south of the Sahara. Seen from mid-April to early October. Eats insects, berries and fruit in Autumn.
Photo: © Neil Cheesman

Woodpigeon Columba palumbus

The UK's largest and commonest pigeon, it is largely grey with a white neck patch and white wing patches, clearly visible in flight. Although shy in the countryside it can be tame and approachable in towns and cities. Its cooing call is a familiar sound in woodlands as is the loud clatter of its wings when it flies away.
Photo: © Kevin B Agar

Wren Troglodytes troglodytes

The wren is a tiny brown bird, although it is heavier, less slim, than the even smaller goldcrest. It is dumpy, almost rounded, with a fine bill, quite long legs and toes, very short round wings and a short, narrow tail which is sometimes cocked up vertically. For such a small bird it has a remarkably loud voice. It is the commonest UK breeding bird, although it suffers declines during prolonged, severely cold winters. Seen all year round. Eat insects and spiders
Photo: © Kevin B Agar