Best experienced in Spring! But bird song throughout the year lifts the spirits …

Due to the varied landscape, the North Wessex Downs is home to many of the UK’s best-loved birds.  Skylarks, thrushes, warblers, pippits, finches can all be found in various corners of the AONB.  And what better way to celebrate spring than to get up early (really early!) and listen to these songbirds we are so lucky to live with?

Some of the best places to experience the dawn chorus is in woodland, or on heathland where you might find a mixture of open and wooded habitats.  Savernake Forest – ancient woodland near Marlborough – is home to a huge variety of birds, and with its plentiful parking and easy paths (some of which are wheelchair-friendly in dry weather) it makes a good place for an early-morning visit.  Snelsmore Common just north of Newbury is also easy to access with a path suitable for wheelchairs, parking and a picnic area (for breakfast!).  This heathland with woodland has lots of different habitats so provides homes for a huge variety of birds.

However, there are numerous other places to hear birdsong within the AONB – Wittenham Clumps, West Woods, Freemans Marsh, Bucklebury Common to name but a few.  Go to our Visit Nature & Wildlife page for some ideas.  The RSPB website has a good tool to help to identify birdsong.

Image: Corn bunting Credit: Andy Hay