Spend a day on the Inner Hebrides on an inspiring wildlife excursion watching hundreds of puffins and other species of birds in their natural habitats.


Over 300 puffins inhabit the Treshnish Isles which is one of the best places to observe these comical creatures. You’ll also be able to spot razorbills guillemots and fulmars..

You’ll be taken to the shore on a small dinghy in a group of up to 10 others where an expert guide will help you explore the island by foot keeping their eyes peeled for the local wildlife.

Watch the puffins hunting for fish and taking food home to their young on cliff-side burrows. Later in the season you may even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the pufflings poking their heads out of their nests.

Be sure to take a camera as you’ll see plenty of sights worth capturing. Binoculars and information guides are available on board.

The puffin tours run between April and July except in adverse weather conditions. You need to be fairly fit to undertake a day at sea and the trip is not recommended for anyone who suffers from sea-sickness.

Wrap up warm if the weather is chilly and please wear sensible shoes. Life jackets will be provided.

The tour lasts between 8 and 9 hours with a break for lunch. Snacks and refreshments will be provided but please take a packed lunch.

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London Zoo is situated in the heart of the beautiful Regent's Park in North London and is home to a wide variety of birds.

Penguin Beach

With over 800 animal species, interactive exhibits, animal displays and feeds, a trip to London zoo is a great day out.

London Zoo is involved in many conservation programmes and the price of your ticket goes towards this valuable work. There are also opportunities to adopt an animal, become a member and by buying tickets to London Zoo in advance online you can save money and beat the queues.

Visit London Zoo

Birds At London Zoo

Penguin Beach

Penguin Beach at London Zoo is Europe’s biggest penguin pool and home to a colony of Humboldt penguins and one token rockhopper.

A South American beach landscape has been recreated and the large pool has an underwater viewing area so you can watch the penguins dive and swim beneath the surface of the water.

Twice a day the birds are fed during Penguin Beach Live when you can see them demonstrating their natural behaviours as they duck and dive for fish and presenters guide you through the lives of these charming aquatic birds.

London Zoo also has a special penguin nursery, that includes a chick incubation unit and a smaller pool where young penguins can learn to swim.

Snowdon Aviary

Designed in 1962 and named after Lord Snowdon, the aviary was the world's first-walk through bird house of its kind.

Inspired by the movements of flying birds, the aviary was designed to look almost weightless and pushed the architectural boundaries of the time. The frame makes use of aluminium and is engineered to use tension to support the structure which was pioneering in the 60s. A giant net skin covers the aviary which is held in position by cables.

Snowdon Aviary is home to many of the world's most amazing birds including peacocks, brolga, cattle egrets and white ibis.

Blackburn Pavilion

Be transported into a tropical rainforest and come face-to-face with species as diverse as toucans, kookaburras and sunbirds.

The Black Pavilion at London Zoo is a beautiful Victorian building that has been transformed with lush foliage and waterfalls with many birds free-flying around the exotic space. In the cloud forest hummingbirds beat their tiny wings and you will be enchanted by flashes of iridescence as they swoop through the trees.

As well as giving visitors the opportunity to experience birds in their natural habitats, the pavilion provides a safe home for a number of species that are in danger of going extinct, such as the Socorro dove which is being bred in captivity until it can be reintroduced into the wild.

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The National Trust is a charity that owns many historic houses and gardens as well as important industrial buildings such as mills.

It is also responsible for large parts of the British countryside including forests, woods, fens, beaches, farmland, downs, moorland and nature reserves with many of these places perfect for some bird watching.
Farne Islands

The Farne Islands - a group of islands on the coast of Northumberland and home to one of the biggest seabird colonies in England hosting up to 23 species of breeding birds including 37,000 pairs of puffins.

Of the 20 or so islands just two are open to the public; Staple Island and Inner Farne, home to the National Trust rangers and the only residents of the islands. The other islands are off limits to protect wildlife.

Staple Island is open from May to June and, as well as the popular puffins, is inhabited by 1,000s of breeding birds including razorbills, kittiwakes, guillemots, shags, cormorants and eider ducks, known locally as Cuddy’s duck after St. Cuthbert who lived on the islands in the 7th century.

On the inner Farne Arctic terns nest close to the path and will attack anyone who comes too close to their chicks – visitors are advised to wear a hat!

The rocky islands are also home to England’s largest colony of Atlantic grey seal colony with 1,000 pups born every autumn.
Northey Island

Northey Island - an undisturbed island lying near the head of the Blackwater Estuary. The National Trust claims it is the closest you’ll get to true wilderness in Essex.

The island is a birdwatcher’s paradise and in the winter thousands of Brent geese arrive to graze Northey’s pastureland. You will also find shelducks, avocets, greenshanks, and golden and grey plovers visiting the large areas of unspoilt saltmarsh.

In the summer a number of birds breed on Northey including oystercatchers and shelducks and to hear the birds calls during midsummer sunsets is a breathtaking experience. Birds of prey including peregrine falcons, short-eared owls and the endangered hen harriers have also been spotted near the estuary.

Cut off at high tide, Northey Island is reached via a causeway that is most likely Roman in origin and to help preserve the environment please contact the National Trust to arrange a permit to visit.

National Trust membership starts from as little as £31.50 and for that you can visit hundreds of fantastic places in England, Wales & Northern Ireland as many times as you like.

You also get free car parking at most National Trust countryside, woodland and coastal car parks and The National Trust membership pack which contains:

Members’ Handbook – the essential guide to all the Trust’s properties, opening times and locations.
The National Trust Magazine – published three times a year with news, views, articles, features, gardening tips and letters.
Regional Newsletters – updates on the special events and activities in your area.
Car parking sticker – free parking at most National Trust car parks.
Map Guide – your guide to over 300 beautiful buildings and 200 glorious gardens.
The National Trust also runs a number of bird watching events throughout the year, such as Bird Watching for Beginners courses, wildlife walks and bird ringing demonstrations. To find out more about what's on at the National Trust click here.

WWT Arundel Wetland Centre

WWT Arundel – located at the foot of the South Downs Arundel Wetland Centre is a 65 acre haven for wildlife. Due to the proximity of the Downs, the centre benefits from a water supply that has been naturally filtered through layers of chalk.

Arundel’s lakes, reed beds, channels and waterfalls are home to an abundance of British wildlife including many small birds such as tits and warblers as well as a large number of international wildfowl . The collection of over 1,000 species of ducks, swans and geese includes the rarest goose in the world – the Hawaiian goose.

In the summer you may be lucky enough to spot a kingfisher darting amongst the trees along the river bank, and look up to see kestrels, peregrines and buzzards swooping above you.
WWT Caerlaverock Wetland Centre

WWT Caerlaverock – home of BBC’s Autumnwatch 2015, Caerlaverock Wetland Centre is a rugged and beautiful destination offering open space and tranquil wildlife watching.

The centre is famous for its vast flocks of over-wintering water birds, including up to 40,000 barnacle geese from Arctic Svalbard and large numbers of pink-footed geese and whooper swans.

In the summer you can see ospreys and other raptors hunting over the Solway and stay overnight for the chance to see a barn owl.
WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre

WWT Castle Espie - the waterfowl collection at Castle Espie is home to the largest collection of ducks, geese and swans in Ireland and many birds are tame enough for you to hand-feed them, giving you the opportunity to see water birds such as the red-breasted goose, goldeneye and rosybill up close.

Castle Espie also has an outdoor duckery which is open all year round to visitors. During the summer months the duckery becomes home to a huge number of duckling, goslings and cygnets, many of which are hand-reared and includes a number of endangered species.

WWT Llanelli - Llanelli Wetland Centre is a 450 acre mosaic of lakes, scrapes, pools, streams and lagoons next to the salt marshes and shore of the scenic Burry Inlet.

Birds gather in vast numbers in the lagoons nearest to the estuary, including black-tailed and bar-tailed godwits, curlew, pintail, shelduck, shoveler, snipe and teal.

Breeding birds on the site include redshank, lapwing, reed warbler and reed bunting and sightings of little egrets and bittern are becoming more frequent.

You will also find some international species at WWT Llanelli including Caribbean flamingos.

WWT London – Bringing the countryside to the city, London Wetland Centre is just 10 minutes from Hammersmith and is home to hundreds of species of water birds including beautiful American wood ducks, elegant smews and noisy white-face whistling ducks.

On the grazelands expect to see sightings of ringed plovers, dunlin, greenshank, oystercatchers and green and common sandpipers in the spring, while in the autumn migrating raptors such as osprey will be passing through.

The centre includes six hides, perfect for both watching wildlife and photography and is a wonderful place for a relaxing walk through the scenic paths that meander among the lakes and meadows if you need a break from urban life.

WWT Martin Mere – Covering 376 acres, Martin Mere reserve really comes into its own during the winter attracting huge flocks of pink-footed geese and wigeon, whooper swans and rarer visitors such as the snow goose.

You will also find wintering birds of prey such as peregrines, merlins and the endangered hen harrier as well as birds that are part of the breeding programme including cranes and flamingos.

Experience the cacophony of the daily swan feed as up to 2,000 whooper swans gather for food along with thousands of shelduck, wigeon and pintail.

WWT Slimbridge – Slimbridge nature reserve provides shelter and food for flocks of swans, geese and ducks in the winter and is an ideal breeding ground for waders in the summer months.

During the late spring, the estuary comes alive with waders including ringed plover, dunlin, sanderling, common sandpiper, curlew, godwits and greenshank .

During winter don’t miss the warden’s commentary as he feeds the thousands of wintering wild birds and hundreds of Bewick’s swans that have flown all the way from arctic Russia to be here.

WWT Washington – Washington nature reserve is a wild yet tranquil place where visitors an immerse themselves in a diverse mix of habitats and wildlife across 25 hectares of meadows, woodland, lakes and ponds.

WWT Washington’s saline lagoon is an example of one of the UK’s rarest habitats; wildlife varies across the seasons but birdlife includes breeding oystercatchers, teal and shelduck.

In autumn wading birds, such as greenshank, black-tailed godwit, ruff, whimbrel and snipe, heading south stop to refuel and more than 1,200 migratory curlew swoop down to roost at dusk, one of the largest inland freshwater curlew roosts in the UK.

WWY Welney – Set in the heart of the Fens, the reserve is the winter home to 1,000s of swans and ducks from northern Europe and the Arctic, Over 8,000 Bewick's and whooper swans winter here along with wigeon, lapwing, mallard, pintail, pochard, teal, and plovers.

As flocks of swans finish feeding in the surrounding fields for the day they make their way back to the reserve during dusk creating a beautiful spectacle in the sky and the best opportunity to see the birds in large numbers.

At the bird feeding stations you will see an abundance of colourful garden birds such as goldfinches, blue tits and chaffinches which are joined by a few unusual visitors like bramblings in the winter.

Click through to read reviews and book tickets.

Turbary Woods Owl and Bird of Prey Sanctuary, Preston, Lancashire
Turbary Woods rescue and rehabilitation center offers a unique collection of over 90 birds of prey including eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, vultures and more unusual species. Read more ...

York Bird Of Prey Centre, Huby, North Yorkshire
The centre is home to over 70 birds with 45 different species and holds 2 flying displays every day. In addition there are be opportunities to meet and handle the birds throughout the day. Read more ...

Hawk Conservancy, Andover, Hampshire
Set in 22 acres of woodland and wildflower meadow, there are over 150 birds of prey on view, from the tiny pygmy owl to the impressive steller's sea eagles. Many of these birds are involved in spectacular daily flying demonstrations, whilst others are part of important breeding or environmental enrichment projects. Read more ...

International Centre For Birds Of Prey, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
The oldest birds of prey centre in the world. The centre is open to the general public for 10 months of the year, plus parts of December for owl evenings, courses and experience days. Education is ongoing to all visitors. Read more ...

Birdland Park & Gardens, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cotswolds
Discover exotic and rare birds as you explore the park and gardens. Flamingoes, pelicans, cranes, storks, cassowaries and waterfowl live in the riverside habitat with parrots, owls, pheasants, hornbills, toucans and many more inhabiting over 50 aviaries. Read more ...

Muncaster Castle, Ravenglass, Lake District
DESCRIPTION Read more ...

Paradise Park, Hayle, Cornwall
Meet colourful birds including many rare and beautiful parrots, flamingos, toucans and red-billed Cornish choughs, plus owls, kookaburras and cranes. With over 140 species and a total of over 650 birds there is a stunning range to see at Paradise Park. Read more ...

Tarn Bird Sanctuary, Greenwich, London
The Tarn is a beautiful landscaped garden and lake with interesting wildfowl and a bird sanctuary. Many original features have been retained from the 1930s. Read more ...

Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, Stonham Barns, Suffolk
Established as a registered charity in 2001, the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary is based at Stonham Aspal in Suffolk, where it operates a comprehensive facility for the care & rehabilitation of owls from the region, and the promotion of owl conservation throughout the UK and beyond. Read more ...

Bushy Park

Bushy Park, located near Hampton Palace, is the second largest of London’s Royal Parks. Its mixture of woods, gardens, ponds and grasslands make it an attractive tourist destination and a great place to enjoy wildlife and roaming herds of red and fallow deer.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

There is a long list of birds to be found in Bushy Park, which includes all three of the UK’s native woodpeckers, kestrels, tawny owls and a range of waterfowl.

Kingfishers can be spotted along the banks of the Longford River and of particular importance are a number of ground-nesting birds such as skylarks, reed buntings, meadow pipits and stonechats, all of which are of conservation concern in the UK.
Green Park

Although Green Park is the smallest of the Royal Parks, it is a popular destination for tourists, located as it is next to Buckingham Palace,.


Over 40 acres of mature trees and grassland lie in a triangle between Piccadilly and Constitution Hill and its tranquil environment in the heart of London makes it a peaceful location for picnics and sunbathing in fine weather.

Green Park has resident tawny owls as well as all round common visitors such as blackbirds, starlings, blue tits, great tits and long-tailed tits. In the winter migrant birds like redwing and fieldfares may be spotted foraging in groups amongst the grass.
Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park, which is home to the Prime Meridian Line and Royal Observatory, is the most historic Royal Park and an excellent site for bird watching with over 70 species expected to visit the 74 hectare site over the course of a year.


More than 30 species of birds breed in the park including woodpeckers, tawny owls, thrushes and warblers. You can also spot nuthatches, goldcrests, chiffchaffs and blackcaps.

There is a duck pond in Greenwich park as well as a herd of red and fallow deer and it is an important site for ommon pipistrelles, Britain’s smallest bat.
Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens

Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are officially two separate parks but share a common border. They cover 615 acres and are home to a number of famous landmarks including Speaker’s Corner, the Peter Pan Statue and the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain and offer various recreational activities including open water swimming, horse riding, boating and tennis.

Canada Goose

The trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants provide a rich habitat for an abundance of birdlife such as robins, dunnocks, blue tits, great tits and coal tits.

The Round Pond and Serpentine Lake attract a large number of wildfowl to the park. Look out for great crested grebes, swans, greylag geese, Canada geese and mallards.

Other recent visitors to Hyde Park include a black swan, a buzzard and Egyptian geese.
Regent’s Park

Regent’s Park in North West London is probably the best of the capital’s Royal Parks for bird watching with an impressive list of over 200 species.

Designed by John Nash, it covers 395 acres and houses London Zoo and the country’s largest free to access collection of waterfowl including Barnacle geese, wigeon, teal, gadwalls and pintails.

Long-Tailed Tit

The park consists of formal gardens, shrubberies, rough grassland, an enclosed wood, sports pitches, a large lake with reed beds and islands and a canal with embankments.

Mature trees provide nesting sites for tawny owls, green woodpeckers, and kestrels while robins, blackbirds and long-tailed tits make their home in hedges.

The park gives sanctuary to passage migrants and winter visitors such as redwings, pied wagtails and mistle thrushes and in spring you can see reed warblers and blackcaps.

A pair of peregrine falcons have nested in the park since 2003 and the henory by the boating lake is one of the largest grey heron colonies close to a city centre in the whole of Europe. And look up to see flocks of ring-necked parakeets, the only species of parrot that live wild in the UK, flying overhead.
Richmond Park

Richmond Park is the largest of London’s Royal Parks and the biggest enclosed space in London. It is a National Nature Reserve, London's largest Site of Special Scientific Interest and a European Special Area of Conservation.


Woodland birds include all three species of native woodpeckers, blackcaps, chiffchaffs, nuthatches and tree creepers. Birds of prey include kestrels, sparrowhawks, little owls and hobbies, which may be seen in the summer.

Ponds hold common terns, wigeon and mandarin ducks and you may be lucky enough to spot a water rail in the reedbeds.

Richmond Park is also famous for its deer populations. It was originally conceived as a deer-hunting park and there have been 630 red and fallow deer roaming freely in the park since 1529.
St James’s Park

St James’s Park is the oldest of the Royal Parks and includes The Mall and Horse Guards Parade and provides settings for ceremonial pageants such as the annual Trooping the Colour.

Great White Pelican

Settle down in one of parks' many deck chairs to view an abundance of birds including long-tailed tits, blue tits, robins and blackbirds which all breed in St James’s Park.

Living near Duck Island are the park’s most famous residents, a colony of pelicans, which were first introduced to the park as a gift from the Russian Ambassador in 1664. Regular visitors can see the pelicans getting fed fresh fish every afternoon and they are so friendly they have been known to sit on park benches beside visitors as they eat their lunch.

Other waterfowl that inhabit the lake in St James’s Park are mallards, tufted ducks, teals, shovelers, moorhens and goldeneyes. More exotic species include black swans and red-crested pochards.

For a short time in recent years “owling” came to mean posing for a picture by crouching like an owl in unusual places and posting the resulting photograph on social media. However, for bird watchers owling is a much more meaningful pastime.

Barn Owl

Spotting owls is different from other types of bird watching as they tend to be fairly elusive during the day. Some species such as short-eared owls or little owls can be seen during daylight hours, but most owls are are nocturnal or crepsular – active at dawn and dusk.

Therefore, going owling takes some planning to ensure that you maximize the opportunity to see an owl.

Although most owls do not migrate and can be found in the same territory throughout the year certain times of the year are better for owling.

A moonlit night in mid-summer or early autumn is the ideal time to go owling so check the weather forecast and plan to go on a clear, dry night. Younger birds tend to be less secretive and therefore easier to spot.

If you bird by ear then searching for owls in late winter can be easier when owls are calling to attract a mate or claim their territories.

Before you go owling check your field guide to find out which species of owl you are likely to see. Make yourself familiar with their markings, calls and preferred habitats.

You will need a pair of binoculars with night vision or with wider lenses that can be used in low light conditions. A spotting scope can be very effective for observing a perched owl.

Make sure you take warm clothing. Even on the hottest days, temperatures can drop rapidly after sunset so take layers and choose clothing that is not reflective in dark or camouflaged colours that does not rustle.

Pack a torch, insect repellant and ensure your mobile phone is charged. You may want to take a flask or tea or coffee or even something a little stronger. Keep your torch pointed downwards when using it as a flash of light may disrupt an owl’s night vision making them vulnerable to predators.

Try and take a nap before you go out owling so you have plenty of energy to get you through the night. You won’t find it easy to spot owls if you are not alert.

Check local websites or get in touch with a local bird watching organization to get advice on the best places to spot owls.

If there are no records of recent sightings, head out to woods, forests and agricultural areas where owls can find lots of prey such as mice, voles and shrews. Always respect the countryside and keep to public rights of way.

When you are out looking for owls keep as quiet as you can and avoid getting to close. In nesting season owls can be particularly aggressive and if they don’t consider you a threat they are less likely to fly away.

Most owls have brilliant camouflage so listen carefully for their calls and when you think you are near an owl watch out for any head movements or wing stretches among branches to show you where the bird is perched.

If you are having difficultly finding owls then you might want to join a scheduled owl watching walk where you will be led by an expert guide who will be able to show you the best places to find owls.

Enjoy a relaxing bird watching cruise or boat trip with experts on hand to guide you. Take in the sights and sounds of the harbour before you depart for an enjoyable day out.

Bird Watching Cruises

Bird Watching Cruise In Poole

Take in the beautiful scenery of Poole and Swanaage in this relaxing evening bird watching cruise.

The 4 hour cruise embarks from Poole Quay at 6pm every Friday during May and June and heads along Purbeck’s beautiful World Heritage coastline where you will be able spot many of the varied birds that inhabit the area.

Tour guides are rangers from Durlston Country Park who have an in depth knowledge of the local geology and birdlife. Expect to see puffins, guillemots, kittiwakes and gulls during this scenic trip.

Bird Watching Cruise In Ipswich

Embarking from Ispwich Dock in Suffolk, this leisurely cruise on a traditional Thames sailing barge passes through the Rivers Orwell and Stour.

Guides from the Essex Wildlife Trust will be on board to help you spot and identify an impressive amount of wildfowl including wading birds such as avocet, redshank and bar-tailed godwit.

As well as an abundance of wildlife there are many lovely manmade sites with large country houses lining the banks of the river.

Lunch is served on board and the 6 hour cruise returns to the dock via Parkestone Bird Reserve.

Bird Watching Cruise In Essex

Set out from Brightlingsea Harbour in Essex for a relaxing bird watching cruise on a traditional Thames barge along the River Colne.

You will be guided by experts from Essex Wildlife Trust who will be on hand to help you identify waders as you pass Fingringhoe Wick nature reserve. Look up and you may spot a marsh harrier circling overhead.

The cruise last approximately 5 hours and a hot buffet lunch will be served on board. The boat returns to the point of departure via Bradwell or West Mersea.


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