Grey Wagtail (photo: Andy Gregory)
Grey Wagtail (photo: Andy Gregory)


Under development. Contributions from BFC members welcome. Watch this space.

About birds

Introductory text

Overview of groups and species of birds 

Birds in the High Peak

For these buttons with the solid borders to work properly you will need to be registered and logged into iNaturalist. This is a free and extremely useful app. See our ‘How to record wildlife’ page for more information and tips on how to use it.

Takes you to the up-to-date list and photo galleries of all bird observations within the High Peak area, as recorded on iNaturalist

Takes you to the up-to-date list and photo galleries of all bird observations within the ‘Buxton polygon’ area, as recorded on iNaturalist and collected by the Buxton Biodiversity Recording Group project

Follow this link to see the current list and photo gallery of bird species in the Buxton area recorded by the Buxton Biodiversity Recording Group – iNaturalist.

Click on the buttons below to go to a page giving more information and links on that species.

Buxton Birds Gallery

This button will take you to our gallery of High Peak bird photos taken by BFC members and friends

Bird species recorded in the Buxton area, April 2019 - June2021

Common names that are in blue underlined in the table (e.g. Curlews) are links to click on to take you to a page dedicated to that species.

Common name

Scientific name

Typical habitat

Barn Owl

Tyto alba


Barn Swallow

Hirundo rustica



Turdus merula


Black-headed Gull

Chroicocephalus ridibundus


Blue Tit

Cyanistes caeruleus


Bohemian Waxwing

Bombycilla garrulus



Fringilla montifringilla


Canada Goose

Branta canadensis



Aythya valisineria


Carrion Crow

Corvus corone


Coal Tit

Periparus ater


Common Buzzard

Buteo buteo


Common Chaffinch

Fringilla coelebs


Common Chiffchaff

Phylloscopus collybita


Common Cuckoo

Cuculus canorus


Common Gull

Larus canus


Common House Martin

Delichon urbicum


Common Kestrel

Falco tinnunculus


Common Kingfisher

Alcedo atthis


Common Moorhen

Gallinula chloropus


Common Pheasant

Phasianus colchicus


Common Raven

Corvus corax


Common Redstart

Phoenicurus phoenicurus


Common Ringed Plover

Charadrius hiaticula


Common Sandpiper

Actitis hypoleucos


Common Starling

Sturnus vulgaris


Common Swift

Apus apus


Common Teal

Anas crecca


Common Wood-Pigeon

Columba palumbus






Numenius arquata



Prunella modularis


Eurasian Blackcap

Sylvia atricapilla


Eurasian Bullfinch

Pyrrhula pyrrhula


Eurasian Collared-Dove

Streptopelia decaocto


Eurasian Coot

Fulica atra


Eurasian Jackdaw

Corvus monedula


Eurasian Magpie

Pica pica


Eurasian Siskin

Spinus spinus


Eurasian Skylark

Alauda arvensis


Eurasian Sparrowhawk

Accipiter nisus


Eurasian Treecreeper

Certhia familiaris


Eurasian Wren

Troglodytes troglodytes


European Golden Plover

Pluvialis apricaria


European Goldfinch

Carduelis carduelis


European Greenfinch

Chloris chloris


European Robin

Erithacus rubecula


European Stonechat

Saxicola rubicola



Turdus pilaris


Garden Warbler

Sylvia borin



Regulus regulus



Mergus merganser


Great Cormorant

Phalacrocorax carbo


Great Spotted Woodpecker

Dendrocopos major


Great Tit

Parus major


Grey Heron

Ardea cinerea


Grey Wagtail

Motacilla cinerea


Greylag Goose

Anser anser


Herring Gull

Larus argentatus


House Sparrow

Passer domesticus



Vanellus vanellus


Lesser Black-backed Gull

Larus fuscus


Lesser Redpoll

Acanthis cabaret



Linaria cannabina


Little Grebe

Tachybaptus ruficollis


Long-tailed Tit

Aegithalos caudatus



Anas platyrhynchos


Mandarin Duck

Aix galericulata


Meadow Pipit

Anthus pratensis


Mistle Thrush

Turdus viscivorus


Muscovy Duck

Cairina moschata


Northern Shoveler

Spatula clypeata


Northern Wheatear

Oenanthe oenanthe



Sitta europaea


Peregrine Falcon

Falco peregrinus


Pied Wagtail

Motacilla alba yarrellii


Pink-footed Goose

Anser brachyrhynchus


Red Grouse

Lagopus lagopus scotica


Red-crested Pochard

Netta rufina


Reed Bunting

Emberiza schoeniclus


Ring Ouzel

Turdus torquatus


Rock Dove or Common Pigeon

Columba livia



Corvus frugilegus


Short-eared Owl

Asio flammeus


Song Thrush

Turdus philomelos


Spotted Flycatcher

Muscicapa striata


Tawny Owl

Strix aluco


Tufted Duck

Aythya fuligula



Sylvia communis


White-throated Dipper

Cinclus cinclus


Willow Warbler

Phylloscopus trochilus


Identifying birds

Apps for tablets and smartphones

We recommend the following mobile phone apps and books whether you are a novice or a more advanced bird enthusiast.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s free BirdNET mobile app and website for identifying birds by their songs and calls, using machine learning. This is a ‘citizen science’ platform which works well provided you have an internet

This link will take you to the RSPB’s excellent Interactive bird identifier and Birds A-Z with photos, videos and soundclips


There are many (thousands) of useful reference books and guides to identifying birds and birdsongs. We have only picked out a couple here which provide excellent guidance for beginners and more advanced enthusiasts alike, plus the details of two unusual but beautiful books of a different sort that you may find interesting.

RSPB Handbook of British Birds (4th edition)

Peter Holden and Tim Cleeves


Excellent handbook, a bestseller.

RSPB Guide to Birdsong

Adrian Thomas


Excellent guide with accompanying CD. Informative and easy to use.

The Birdwatcher’s Handbook: A Guide to the Birds of Britain and Ireland

Jonathan Elphick


A very good beginner’s field guide.

Birds Brittanica

Mark Cocker and Richard Mabey

Chatto & Windus

Definitely not a pocket book, but a beautifully produced volume to browse and/or keep on your bookshelf or coffee table. Neither an identification guide nor a behavioural study, although both come within its field. “Rather it is an attempt to  describe the points of intersection between the lives of the humans and the birds inhabiting these same small islands. It is about our shared ecological history, for better or for worse.” A book to sit down with and enjoy in those longer winter evenings.

Birds and People

Mark Cocker. Photographs by David Tipling.

Jonathan Cape

A large but very rich and enriching book that is as much about human beings as it is about birds, attempting “to explore the common ground where these two very different organisms meet.” A wonderful collaboration between witer, photographer and many contributors from around the world, exploring the relationships between humans and 144 bird families (plus 2 extinct families) of the 200 worldwide.


BBC Sounds has an excellent series of short (5 minute) broadcasts: Tweet of the Day, where you can: “Discover birds through their songs and calls. Each Tweet of the Day begins with a call or song, followed by a story of fascinating ornithology inspired by the sound.” Our own Mark Cocker is the host on many of these.

Information and guidance

One if the UK’s major wildlife conservation bodies, their website and publications provide masses of information, guidance and tools for identifying birds and birdsongs.

A website dedicated to sharing bird sounds from all over the world. Whether you are a research scientist, a birder, or simply curious about a sound that you heard out your kitchen window, they invite you to listen, download, and explore the bird sound recordings in the collection.

But xeno-canto is more than just a collection of recordings. It is also a collaborative project. They invite you to share your own bird recordings, help identify mystery recordings, or share your expertise in the forums.