Bird watching in the UK

Outdoor pursuits of all kinds are a popular pastime for people throughout the United Kingdom. Everything from walking and hiking to bird watching is established as a healthy and popular pastime for people to do outdoors. While birdwatching has become very popular around the world, it holds a very unique place in the history and current cultural climate of the United Kingdom. Its unique geographical location and access to a wide range of habitats makes the UK an excellent location for birdwatching. This is especially true for people who live in the coastal areas of the country.

Popular Bird watching Regions

Three major regions in the UK see the widest range of birds and therefore the largest number of bird watchers. These areas are the coast, the upper highlands and the interior of the United Kingdom. Different birds will be available in different parts of the country, with seasonal variations between species being a common occurrence. Picking the right area to go bird watching can make all the difference when it comes to finding the birds you're looking for and being left wanting. In truth, understanding the seasonal variability of species can be a major concern for birders in the United Kingdom.

The Coast

The coastal areas of the UK are among the most popular for birders and they see the widest variability in species. This is due in part to the diverse range of resources available to birds along the coastline. However, this variability is also driven by the migratory patterns of various bird species. For example, many different types of ducks and geese frequent the shores of the UK throughout the year. Numerous sand birds and pelagic species of birds can be seen along the coast at different times throughout the year.

The Interior

The interior of the United Kingdom is mostly dominated by farmland, hills and the occasional large stand of trees. Not many birds migrate from other countries to the interior of the UK, so the species variance here is not as extensive as on the coast. However, there is perhaps a wider range of songbirds here than on the coast. Birds such as the Bullfinch, the Goldcrest and the Nuthatch are all very common throughout the heart of the UK. In general, songbirds here are divided into major groups by where they are commonly found. For example, songbirds that are most commonly found in gardens are colloquially referred to as "garden songbirds" even though there is no scientific classification that calls for this.

The Upland Mountains

The upper mountains in Scotland provide an interesting region for birders that is starkly dissimilar from the interior or coast. Grouse are very common in the mountainous regions here, including the red grouse and the black grouse. Other species of birds commonly found here are the Lapwing and the Capercaillie. The Capercaillie is especially well-known for its unique plumage and very showy design. Generally, birds here are going to be hardier, they won't fly as often, and they will often hide within brush.

The UK as a Birder's Utopia

The truth is that the UK has developed a large amount of its land and has therefore eradicated a large number of its previous bird species. However, there is still enough diversity in the landscape here that many different species of birds thrive here. Since the major regions of the country are so diverse in terms of habitat, finding the specific species of birds will rely on careful selection of your destination. Birdwatching is a very popular and pleasurable pastime for people of the UK.