Sherwood’s Birds

Home to native species and seasonal visitors, there are so many feathered friends to spot.

In the late winter and early spring, listen out for our resident woodpeckers drumming; in summer, enjoy song from the nuthatch, the garden and willow warblers, and the unmistakeable call of the cuckoo.

Eurasian nuthatch Sitta europaea caesia, perched on branch, March

Eurasian nuthatch

The rich and diverse bird life is all around – nightjars and woodlarks live on the heaths on our Budby reserve to the north of Sherwood Forest; woodcocks, tawny owls, green, great spotted and lesser spotted woodpeckers, stock doves, jackdaws, jays, nuthatches, treecreeper, marsh tits and goldcrests can all be found in the woodland. The more open areas have tree pipits, redstarts and spotted flycatchers in spring and summer. Listen carefully to pick out a chiffchaff, singing its eponymous song, or a willow warbler. Look out for jays and redwings in autumn.

Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus, male standing on old piece of bark on silverbirch tree

Common Redstart

Our adjoining reserve at Budby Forest South provides the perfect setting  for a very special and rare bird – the nightjar. Known for their distinctive churring call, they are perfectly camouflaged against the heathland they occupy, with mottled brown and black markings. As darkness falls, the male bird calls in a distinctive, low, constant ‘churr’. We are restoring historic open habitats and softening woodland edges to create the perfect conditions for these beguiling birds to thrive. These conditions are also going to benefit iconic heathland species like tree pipits and woodlarks.