Birds of Larkey Valley Wood

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Blackbird of Larkey Valley Wood, Thanington Without

Blackbird

Turdus merula
AKA: Common blackbird
The males live up to their name but, confusingly, females are brown often with spots and streaks on their breasts. The bright orange-yellow beak and eye-ring make adult male blackbirds one of the most striking garden birds. One of the commonest UK birds, its mellow song is also a favourite.
Blackcap of Larkey Valley Wood, Thanington Without

Blackcap

Sylvia atricapilla
A distinctive greyish warbler, the male has a black cap, and the female a chestnut one. Its delightful fluting song has earned it the name 'northern nightingale'. Although primarily a summer visitor birds from Germany and north-east Europe are increasingly spending the winter in the UK.
Chiffchaff of Larkey Valley Wood, Thanington Without

Chiffchaff

Phylloscopus collybita
A small olive-brown warbler which actively flits through trees and shrubs, with a distinctive tail-wagging movement. Less bright than the similar willow warbler and readily distinguished by its song, from where it gets its name. Picks insects from trees and also flies out to snap them up in flight.
Cuckoo of Larkey Valley Wood, Thanington Without

Cuckoo

Cuculus canorus
The cuckoo is a dove-sized bird with blue grey upper parts, head and chest with dark barred white under parts. With their sleek body, long tail and pointed wings they are not unlike kestrels or sparrowhawks. Sexes are similar and the young are brown. They are summer visitors and well-known brood parasites, the females laying their eggs in the nests of other birds, especially meadow pipits, dunnocks and reed warblers. Their population has shown moderate declines recently making them an Amber List species.
Garden Warbler of Larkey Valley Wood, Thanington Without

Garden Warbler

Sylvia borin
A very plain warbler with no distinguishing features (a feature in itself!). It spends a lot of its time in the cover of trees and bushes and can be more difficult to see than its relative, the blackcap. Despite its name it is not really a garden bird, except in mature gardens next to woods. Its song is similar to that of a blackcap, but has longer mellow phrases.
Nightingale of Larkey Valley Wood, Thanington Without

Nightingale

Luscinia megarhynchos
AKA: Common nightingale; Rufous nightingale
Nightingales are slightly larger than robins, with a robust, broad-tailed, rather plain brown appearance. They are skulking and extremely local in their distribution in the UK while in much of southern Europe, they are common and more easily seen. The famous song is indeed of high quality, with a fast succession of high, low and rich notes that few other species can match.
Nuthatch of Larkey Valley Wood, Thanington Without

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.
Song Thrush of Larkey Valley Wood, Thanington Without

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.
Treecreeper of Larkey Valley Wood, Thanington Without

Treecreeper

Certhia familiaris
AKA: Eurasian treecreeper
The treecreeper is small, very active, bird that lives in trees. It has a long, slender, downcurved bill. It is speckly brown above and mainly white below. It breeds in the UK and is resident here. Birds leave their breeding territories in autumn but most range no further than 20 km. Its population is mainly stable.
Willow Warbler of Larkey Valley Wood, Thanington Without

Willow Warbler

Phylloscopus trochilus
Willow warblers are small birds with grey-green backs and pale under parts. They have a yellow tinged chest and throat and pale supercillium (the stripe above the eye). They are separated from the very similar chiffchaff by their song. Their population, especially in southern Britain, has undergone a moderate decline over the past 25 years making them an Amber List species.
Woodpecker of Larkey Valley Wood, Thanington Without

Woodpecker

Phylloscopus trochilus
Willow warblers are small birds with grey-green backs and pale under parts. They have a yellow tinged chest and throat and pale supercillium (the stripe above the eye). They are separated from the very similar chiffchaff by their song. Their population, especially in southern Britain, has undergone a moderate decline over the past 25 years making them an Amber List species.
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