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Herring Gull

Large and noisy. Grey and white with large yellow bill which has red spot on lower tip. Legs pinkish – NOT yellow.

Size: 56-62cm Where: Sea coast, Inland, Island


The most common of falcons. Bright rusty brown upperparts spotted with black and long, slim tail barred with black, grey head and tail with black band at tip. Female has tail barred brown. Silvery underparts. Hovers or sits on posts.

Size: 33cm Where: Sea coast, Inland, Island


Pelagic Skomer and Ramsey. Also Flimston in caves. Very pretty gull. Makes nest with mud, wet grass and saliva. Winter: blue-grey back and upper wing. Black wingtips. White elsewhere. Bill yellow, legs dark and dark patches on head. A few around harbours in winter. Offshore August to October.

Size: 40-42cm Where: Sea coast, Island
Winter Visitor


Small, dumpy body, bill and legs medium-length. Feed and roost in huge flocks; may fly in twisting clouds rather like starlings. It has few distinguishing marks apart from behaviour. Adult bird mostly grey with pale belly. In flight: shows pale grey rump with fine darker bars. Pale stripe on wing like Grey Plover.

Size: 25cm Where: Sea coast
Winter Visitor


Numbers declining. Distinctive long head crest and loud ‘peewit’ call. Flocks swoop and wheel as if blown by wind. Distinctive broad wings with blunt end in flight. Dark greenish with purple of blue wings, white throat and belly plus inner part of underwing. Shows white band above black tail when in flight.

Size: 30cm Where: Sea coast, Fresh water, Island

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Nests in many coastal locations. Like Herring Gull but dark grey back/upper wings and very yellow legs. Wingtips darker than rest of wing. Inner two thirds of trailing edge of upperwing is white. Bill yellow with orange spot. Red ring around yellow eye. Roosts on reservoirs and lakes.

Size: 55-60cm Where: Sea coast, Fresh water, Island


Carduelis. Likes open heath and cliff scrub. Perches on bushes or wires. Male: rosy breast in summer; tawny brown on top with dark wings showing white streaks in flight. Tail black and white with deep fork. Feeds on seeds on ground, often flocking with finches and sparrows in winter. Chi-chi chiu plus warbling.

Size: 15cm Where: Sea coast, Inland

Little Grebe

Small and round with almost no tail. Bobs around and dives suddenly. Chestnut face with darker cap and rump. Flanks rusty when puffed out. Short bill straight and pointed. Chunky head.

Size: 25-29cm Where: Sea coast, Fresh water


The duck everyone knows. Male with dark green head, grey and brown body with patches of dark blue. He goes much duller in the summer though. Female is dull brown with patches of purple blue on back of wing when in flight. The only duck which utters a loud ‘QUACK’

Size: 58cm Where: Sea coast, Fresh water

Manx Shearwater

Pelagic. Skomer, Skokholm and Ramsey It flies low over water with wings held stiffly. Dark upper and white under. It is a summer visitor and you only see it at night when coming back to nesting burrows. Legs not adapted for land so it can hardly walk.

Size: 30-38cm Where: Sea coast, Island
Winter Visitor


Farmland and coast. Flies low. Male: small – size of dove; grey/blue above; black tail tip; buff with orangey tinge underneath. Very speckled. Female much bigger; dark brown upper with cream underparts streaked brown. Wings sharply tapered. Tail blunt or spread in broad fan.

Size: 27-32cm Where: Sea coast, Inland


Black and white with long, narrow orange bill. Black head and rump with white underparts. Flight shows broad angled white stripe on each wing and white rump with black tail tip. Large flocks often utter high-pitched twee-twee when in flight. They land in a big tumble and set to feeding on shore or mud.

Size: 43cm Where: Sea coast, Fresh water, Island

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