Send us your wildlife sightings

Recording wildlife is an easy way to get involved in wildlife conservation. It is a way of helping us to monitor wildlife across the county to gain an understanding of an animal’s distribution. Your sightings can help us identify areas which are especially important for wildlife and identify species in decline or under threat.

Each season we ask you to help Norfolk's wildlife by sending us your sightings of three iconic species. You don't have to be an expert – all you need to do is tell us when and where you spot them. Use the form to record online, or phone or email us using the details below.

Our current total of wildlife records submitted for this survey are


379
Chaffinch

1578
Goldfinch

438
Greenfinch

Log your wildlife sightings here...

Sighting locations so far...


Key

Chaffinch
Goldfinch
Greenfinch
During the COVID-19 lockdown many people contacted Norfolk Wildlife Trust to share their sightings and photographs of the wildlife visiting Norfolk gardens. In particular people shared images of birds making the most of the bird feeders and nest boxes. During this period one observation we made was the fact that we were receiving more records of greenfinches, and this sparked the idea for the next spotter survey. We would love you to share your finch records with us – any greenfinch, chaffinch and goldfinch sightings.

Whether you are lucky enough to have them visit your garden, or you see them on your local patch, you can help us map sightings within our county so we can build a picture of where they are found.

How to spot a greenfinch: Greenfinches are large, chunky finches that are mostly olive-green, but with a yellow patch on the wings and tail. Females are grey-green with less yellow.

How to spot a chaffinch: The male chaffinch is one of the most colourful garden birds with a blue-grey crown, brown back and pink breast. Females are brown, but are less streaky than female house sparrows, and have white shoulder patches and wingbars.

How to spot a goldfinch: The goldfinch is a small, colourful finch that is gingery-brown above and pale below, with black-and-yellow wings, a black crown, white cheeks and a bright red face.
Greenfinch
A common, large finch of gardens, parks, woodland and farmland, the greenfinch feeds on seeds, an...
Chaffinch
One of the most common, indeed the second most common bird in the UK being widespread and abundan...
Goldfinch
The goldfinch is a striking, small finch of gardens, parks, woodland, heathland and farmland. It ...
Recording wildlife is an easy way to get involved in wildlife conservation. It is a way of helping us to monitor wildlife across the county to gain an understanding of an animal’s distribution. Your sightings can help us identify areas which are especially important for wildlife and identify species in decline or under threat.
 

Greenfinch

In 2005 the emergence of a disease called Trichomonosis impacted greatly on greenfinch populations (although it was also reported in a number of other birds including chaffinches). The disease is caused by the protozoan parasite Trichomonas gallineas, with infected birds showing signs of lethargy, difficulty in swallowing and/or laboured breathing. People also report that birds visiting their garden feeders have wet plumage around their bill.

The advice for people who have infected birds visiting their gardens is to clean and disinfect feeders and feeding sights regularly. Also, to rotate feeding sites to prevent a build-up of waste food.

Although the greenfinch will visit a variety of different habitats to feed gardens do play an important role. According to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) the decrease in seed availability in the wider countryside has seen a decrease in greenfinch numbers in farmlands. This decrease in seed means that the food provided for birds in gardens is important to greenfinches particularly during late winter and early spring when natural seed supplies dwindle.
 

Chaffinch

According to the British Trust for Ornithology chaffinch numbers have dropped by 30% in eleven years from 2007 to 2018. The reason for this decline is not known, but it may be linked to the Trichomonosis disease that impacted on the greenfinch. The BTO are looking to carry out research to try and discover what is happening to this colourful garden visitor.

The chaffinch, which eats both insects and seeds, prefers to feed under bird feeders or along hedges, rather than visit actual feeders. It is a very distinctive bird, which has a variety of different calls and songs.
 

Goldfinch

The goldfinch is a striking, small finch of gardens, parks, woodland, heathland and farmland. It eats small seeds, especially from ragwort, dandelions and teasels (their long, pointed bills help them to extract the seeds), as well as invertebrates. It will visit bird tables and feeders, too. During winter, goldfinches roam about in flocks of up to 100 birds, searching for food. However, some of our UK birds will migrate as far south as Spain to avoid the worst of the harsh weather.

Greenfinch

  • Ringing of British breeding greenfinches show that they seldom move more than 20km from their birthplace.
  • In Victorian times greenfinches were kept in cages as songbirds.
  • Local names for the greenfinch are usually linked to the colour and include green linnet and green grosbeak.
  • Greenfinches who nest in gardens tend to breed slightly earlier than those that nest in the wider countryside.
  • Until 2005, greenfinches were one of the most common birds at our garden feeders. However, their numbers have now seen a decline of around 35% due to a disease called e trichomonosis.

Chaffinch

  • The UK plays host to immigrants from Europe and Scandinavia in the winter months.
  • The old East Anglian name for the Chaffinch is “Common Finch” or “Spink”.
  • Mainly monogamous. The male will attract a mate to his territory with his song.
  • Can often be seen with growths, which are crusty in appearance on the legs. There are two causes for this condition which are mites of the Cnemidocoptes genus and/or papillomavirus. There is evidence to suggest both conditions can occur together in some individuals. Most birds with these signs are bright, active and able to feed though some birds become lame and others suffer from secondary bacterial infections.
  • · The males will spend winter near to their breeding territories whilst the females will migrate further south.

Goldfinch

  • Vast numbers of goldfinches were trapped as songbirds during the Victorian era, causing their population to crash.
  • The collective name for a group of goldfinches is a charm.
  • Alternative names for the goldfinch include = gold linnet, King Harry and redcap.
  • Male goldfinches have longer beaks than females, allowing them to feed on teasels.
  • The scientific name of the goldfinch is linked to the thistle, a favourite food of goldfinches.

Download the reports on our previous surveys

   Brown-hare,-barn-owl-and-common-frog-survey-April,-May-and-June-2015 Download   
   Hedgehog,-House-Martin-and-Red-Admiral-Survey-August-2015 Download   
   Water-vole,-grass-snake-and-Himalayan-balsam-survey-July-2015 Download   
Show more +
Have you seen any other wildlife recently? We would love to hear about it... Notify us now

How to take part in this wildlife survey...

Online


The quickest way to take part is by clicking on the submit button below. You will then be asked: what you saw, when you saw it, where you saw it and who you are.

By phone


Phone Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Information Service on 01603 598333. Don’t forget you will need to tell us: what you saw, when you saw it, where you saw it and who you are.

By e-mail


Send us an email to wild@norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk. Don’t forget you will need to tell us: what you saw, when you saw it, where you saw it and who you are.

Take part today...