Welcome to Barrow Gurney Birds – the website dedicated to birdwatching at the Barrow Gurney Reservoirs and environs. Navigate through these pages using the links below, or in the header above.


Highlights to see this season – Winter:

  • Greater Scaup Aythya marila – these – ducks occasionally turn up at the Reservoirs in small numbers. They look primarily like Tufted Ducks, but have pale grey “backs”, notable from a distance. (It also lacks the “tuft” of a male Tufted Duck!”)
  • Smew Mergellus albellus – a male Smew is the holy grail of any birdwatcher out scanning the tanks on a freezing winter’s day. These Sawbill ducks come across from Holland, Denmark and Scandinavia to escape the harsh weather. You’ll need prolonged spells of cold and a bit of luck, however, to get one here!
  • Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus – Check the small flocks of Black-Headed Gulls that congregate at the edges of the Tanks. In separating winter plumaged individuals from the BH gulls, look for the black “smudge” behind the eye, and a blood-red bill. Also note the adults have pure white primary wing-tips when in flight or resting on water.
  • Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba yarrellii – often seen feeding around the concrete edges of the Reservoirs looking for invertebrates, the wagtails often flit about uttering their “chis-ik” call. They have an undulating flight, but once landed  they “wag” their tail feathers up and down, as their name states.
  • Redwing Turdus iliacus – a dainty winter Thrush, often seen passing overhead while moving from berry crop to berry crop in search of food. Listen out for the “Tseeep” call, and the Starling-like flight pattern of birds flying over the Reservoirs.

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