Discover the Dales

Wildlife & Nature

Bird Watching

Bird Watching in the Yorkshire Dales is becoming increasingly popular as it is a fantastic location to look and listen to a huge variety of birds in their natural environment.

If you are interested in learning more about the birds that inhabit the Yorkshire Dales then grab yourself a pair of binoculars, a bird guide, suitable clothing for the weather and the eagerness to observe.

The best time to go bird watching is in the morning when the birds are searching for food. Often you can be surrounded by bird calls and songs but, perhaps not have any birds in sight. If this is the case, look for movement in the trees and amongst the heather and use your binoculars to have a closer look.

Remember, that birds scare easily. To avoid disturbing the birds you must dress appropriately – dress for the weather, but nothing to bright. It is best to opt for clothing that blends in with your surroundings as this will help prevent the birds from detecting you. Stay quiet; if you talk or laugh loudly you will often frighten birds away.

When you spot a bird it is important to take note of all its features such as colour, shape, size, markings, posture and behaviour. This will help you to identify the bird correctly as often some birds have very similar features which could lead to the misidentification. Also, it is worth taking note of where you saw the bird as often they stick to certain areas. On the same thread, if there is a particular bird you are interested in watching it best to identify the best spot to see that bird before you set off.

Please take note of the bird watching etiquette, and respect the wild life in the Yorkshire Dales:
1) Don’t stress the birds – they do you no harm so show them the same respect.
2) Don’t get too close to the bird nests as this will have a negative impact on breading.
3) Keep your distance from important feeding sites as your presence will disturb the bird’s activities (use your binoculars for a closer look).
4) Don’t attract birds to areas of danger.
5) Respect private property – if you have to gain access always ask permission first.

If you are thinking of giving bird watching a go then sometimes visual identification helps. We have put together the following pages to help you identify some of the most common birds found in the Yorkshire Dales, simply click on the links below to find out more about each of the birds and where in the Yorkshire Dales you  are likely to spot them. We hope this helps…happy birding!!

Black Grouse
Bullfinch
Buzzard
Cuckoo
Curlew
Grasshopper Warbler
House Sparrow
Lapwing
Lesser Redpoll
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Linnet
March Tit
Merlin
Peregrine Falcon
Raven
Red Grouse
Reed Bunting
Ring Ouzei
Sky lark
Snipe
Spotted Flycatcher
Starling
Tree Pipit
Twite
Wigeon
Wood Warbler
Yellow Wagtail

Merlin, Yorkshire Dales
Buzzards in the Yorkshire Dales

Click below to view our image gallery

See also