Birds in the Dane Meadow

Birds in the Dane Meadow

This is a list of some birds you might see. For identification purposes the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has a very good bird guide

The Common Buzzard favours hunting over open land but prefers to nest in woodland. They can often be seen flying high above the Dane Meadow. You first become aware of them by their call which is a plaintive peea-ay, similar to a cat’s meow.

Buzzards eat mainly small mammals but are great opportunists and will eat medium size prey like pheasants as well as worms and insects.


Crows and Rooks are difficult to tell apart as they are of a similar size (Crow 47cm, Rook 45cm) and black. As a general rule rooks are in groups but crows are more likely to be alone. These birds can sometimes be seen mobbing the buzzards above the Dane Meadow.


The Grey Heron is frequently to be found around water as it feeds mainly on fish. It is mostly seen on the wing over the Dane Meadow and is recognisable not only by its size but by its shape in the air, as it tucks its neck in but trails its legs.


Kestrels are most easily distinguished by their typical hunting behaviour which is to hover at a height of around 10–20 metres over open country and swoop down on prey, usually small mammals, lizards or large insects. Their plumage is chestnut brown.


Kingfishers have been seen along this section of the Dane. They eat small fish and nest in river banks.


Pied Wagtail is aptly named!  It is easily recognised on the ground by the way in which it wags its tail as it moves.

 pied wagtail

Grey Wagtail is a much more secretive bird than the pied wagtail but can be seen near the river where it hunts for insects.

grey wagtail 

Starlings appear black at a distance but have speckled plumage. They are mostly ground feeders and in winter can be seen in huge flocks at dusk making spectacular patterns in the sky.


Wood pigeons are the largest members of the pigeon family and have become a common sight in this area. They have an easily recognisable call.


Wrens are actually very common but not very often visible to the casual observer. They are tiny birds with a surprisingly loud song for their size. They tend to keep to the undergrowth and in gardens can be seen scuttling around on the ground.


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