Wetland birds

Spring wildlife

Wetland birds

© Jamie Hall

Splash landing

Every spring thousands of wetland birds migrate to Britain, whilst resident birds begin courting and breeding. Though Surrey is not well known for it's large wetland habitats, you can still spot some fantastic wetland birdlife if you know where to look.

Great crested grebe

© Andrew Parkinson/2020VISION

Dance of the grebe

The graceful great crested grebe is a familiar sight on our lakes and reservoirs, and is well-known for its elaborate courtship dance, during which it rises vertically out of the water and shakes its head. Also look out for humbug-striped chicks riding on their mothers back.

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Bittern

© David Martin

Booming bitterns

The shy and retiring bittern is a master of blending in and can be very difficult to spot in its reedbed home. It does sound like a booming foghorn, however, when it calls, so can often be heard if not seen.

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Shoveler

© Adam Jones

Dig a shoveler

Living up to its name, the shoveler has a large and distinctive shovel-like bill which it uses to feed at the surface of the water.

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Little egret

© Terry Whittaker/2020VISION

The littlest egret

The little egret is a small, white heron that feeds on small fish and crustaceans. Once a very rare visitor from the Mediterranean, little egrets are now a common sight around the coasts of southern England and Wales, but can also be seen in Surrey.

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Top sites for spring wetland birds

Species A-Z

Help wildlife at home

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© Terry Whittaker/2020VISION

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