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Bird Identification Guide

Make a selection from any of the lists below that match the bird you saw and a filtered selection of possible birds will be displayed. The more of the five options you specify the smaller the number of likely birds will be displayed but if you are too specific then you may eliminate your bird from the choices if they do not exactly match my groupings! Click/tap any photo for more information about the species in Dorset.
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Displaying 1 - 60 of 166


Recurvirostra avosetta
Look for ... A black and white bird with a unique up turned bill
Status: Locally frequent

Bar-tailed Godwit

Limosa lapponica
Look for ... The long straight bill then look for differences with black-tailed godwit
Status: Occasional

Barn Owl

Tyto alba
Look for ... Ghostly white birds over rough pasture and downland at dusk
Status: Scarce

Bearded Tit

Panurus biarmicus
Look for ... Flock of small birds in amongst reeds
Status: Local

Bearded Tit

Panurus biarmicus
Look for ... A small group of birds feeding around the seed heads or phragmites and reed-mace
Status: Local

Black Headed Gull

Larus ridibundus
Look for ... A smallish gull with red beak and legs
Status: Locally common

Black Redstart

Phoenicurus ochruros
Look for ... A dark robin-sized bird with orange fashes in the tail when it flies
Status: Scarce

Black-necked Grebe

Podiceps nigricollis
Look for ... Diving birds off shore with shorter necks than the more common Gt Crested Grebe
Status: Local

Black-tailed Godwit

Limosa limosa
Look for ... A tall wader with a long straight bill, usually in a large flock
Status: Locally common


Turdus merula
Look for ... A totally black bird with a yellow beak
Status: very common


Sylvia atricapilla
Look for ... A small warbler with a black or brown cap
Status: Frequent

Blue Tit

Parus caeruleus
Look for ... Distinctive blue colouration unlike other birds
Status: Common


Fringilla montifringilla
Look for ... A bird that looks a bit like a chaffinch but is obviously not!
Status: Scarce

Brent Goose

Branta bernicla
Look for ... Smallish compact geese in large flocks
Status: Local


Pyrrhula pyrrhula
Look for ... The bright black, white and red colouration
Status: Restricted


Buteo buteo
Look for ... Large birds soaring in the sky on sunny days
Status: Frequent

Canada Goose

Branta canadensis
Look for ... The bold white chin strap under the bill
Status: Locally frequent

Carrion Crow

Corvus corone
Look for ... Large, sleek black birds in open countryside
Status: Frequent

Cattle Egret

Bubulcus ibis
Look for ... White egrets in fields with cattle
Status: Rare

Cettis Warbler

Cettia cetti
Look for ... A short and loud repetitive call from, or near, reed beds
Status: Local


Fringilla coelebs
Look for ... Very distinctive white wing flash often seen as it flies
Status: Common


Phylloscopus collybita
Look for ... The unmistakable continuous chiff-chaff song
Status: Common

Coal Tit

Parus ater
Look for ... White stripe along a black cap
Status: Frequent

Collared Dove

Streptopelia decaocto
Look for ... A pair of buff/brown pigeons
Status: Local

Common Gull

Larus canus
Look for ... A gull with greenish legs and bill
Status: Restricted

Common Sandpiper

Actitis hypoleucos
Look for ... The gently bobbing tail
Status: Occasional

Common Scoter

Mellanita nigra
Look for ... Small black ducks well off shore
Status: Restricted

Common Tern

Sterna hirundo
Look for ... Birds plunging in to the sea just off shore
Status: Local


Fulica atra
Look for ... The white shield on the forehead
Status: Frequent


Phalacrocorax carbo
Look for ... Large prehistoric-looking black birds in harbours and on rivers
Status: Frequent

Corn Bunting

Miliarua calandra
Look for ... Listen for the song described as being like a bunch of jangling keys!
Status: Rare


Cuculus canorus
Look for ... That distinctive call in spring
Status: Scarce


Numenius arquata
Look for ... Stocky wader with a very long curved bill
Status: Frequent

Dartford Warbler

Sylvia undata
Look for ... A heathland bird with a long, often cocked, tail
Status: Local


Cinclus cinclus
Look for ... A small. bobbing bird on fast flowing streams and rivers
Status: Local


Calidris alpina
Look for ... Flocks of smallish waders flying in close formation
Status: Frequent


Prunella modularis
Look for ... A skulking bird feeding on the ground under shrubs
Status: Common


Turdus pilaris
Look for ... Groups of large greyish thrushes feeding on berries
Status: Occasional


Regulus ignicapilla
Look for ... A goldcrest-like bird with white and black facial stripes
Status: Scarce


Fulmarus glacialis
Look for ... Gull-like birds with stiff, outstretched wings gliding near cliffs
Status: Local


Anas strepera
Look for ... Large mottle grey/brown ducks with a distinctive black tail
Status: Occasional


Morus bassanus
Look for ... Large white birds with black wing tips flying out at sea
Status: Local

Garden Warbler

Sylvia borin
Look for ... A small, brown warbler with a big voice!
Status: Rare


Regulus regulus
Look for ... Tiny bird flitting around in bushes, often conifers
Status: Restricted

Golden Plover

Pluvialis apricaria
Look for ... Flocks of waders on rough pasture and meadows
Status: Occasional


Bucephala clangula
Look for ... The white patch on the cheeks which, from a distance, look like big eyes
Status: Scarce


Carduelis carduelis
Look for ... The bright read face and gold flash in the wings
Status: Frequent


Mergus merganser
Look for ... Long billed diving duck on sheltered waters and on lakes and rivers
Status: Occasional

Great Black-backed Gull

Larus marinus
Look for ... Big gulls with a very dark back
Status: Local

Great Crested Grebe

Podiceps cristatus
Look for ... The long neck and low body profile
Status: Occasional

Great Northern Diver

Gavia immer
Look for ... A distant bird on open sea resembling the profile of a cormorant
Status: Local

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Dendrocopos major
Look for ... A distant drumming sound in early spring
Status: Common

Great Tit

Parus major
Look for ... Striking yellow and black frontal markings
Status: Frequent

Great White Egret

Ardea alba
Look for ... A very large white egret
Status: Rare

Green Sandpiper

Tringa ochropus
Look for ... Medium sized wader hugging the edge of mud and saltmarsh
Status: Occasional

Green Woodpecker

Picus viridis
Look for ... A laughing call, almost like a horse neighing
Status: Occasional


Carduelis chloris
Look for ... Yellow flashes in the wing of a green-tinged bird
Status: Frequent


Tringa nebularia
Look for ... A wader with pale green legs
Status: Occasional

Grey Heron

Ardea cinerea
Look for ... Tall, motionless grey birds by water
Status: Occasional

Grey Plover

Pluvialis squatarola
Look for ... A plump wader, on its own, displaying a dark eye stripe
Status: Occasional