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


912
House Sparrow

1439
Starling

242
Yellowhammer

Log your wildlife sightings here...

Sighting locations so far...


Key

House Sparrow
Starling
Yellowhammer
The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO)'s new publication ‘Red Sixty Seven’ wants to raise awareness of 67 British bird species that are on the UK Red List of Birds of Conservation Concern. This spring we would love to receive your records for three species that were once common but are now unfortunately part of the ‘67’ listed species.

Please let us know of any house sparrows, starlings and yellowhammers that you see this March, April and May. Whether you are lucky enough to have them visit your garden, or you see them in the countryside, you can help us map sightings within our county so we can build a picture of where they are found.
House Sparrow
The house sparrow is a sociable bird, often seen feeding and bathing in large groups. Although fr...
Starling
The striking starling appears, at first glance, to be black all over. Yet, when the sunlight catc...
Yellowhammer
This little golden yellow hedgerow bird has a distinctive song, and is likely to be seen around t...

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. To take part in this spring’s survey visit: https://www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlife-in-norfolk/wildlife-spotter-survey or email your records to wild@norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk remembering to tell us what you saw, when you saw it, where you saw it and who you are.


House Sparrow 

The once common house sparrow is no longer so, since the 1970s rural populations have nearly halved, with a 60% decline seen in urban dwelling house sparrows.  

Unfortunately this gregarious little bird is now red-listed as a species of high conservation concern. The reason for the recent rapid decline is not fully understood, although research is underway to try and determine the cause. 

How to spot a house sparrow: 

Females and young birds are mainly sandy brown, with back and wings with darker streaks. Adult male has grey top to head and a characteristic black ‘bib’ on chest (‘bib’ varies in prominence according to time of year). 
 

Starling 

Monitoring by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) highlights that starling numbers have fallen by 66% in Britain since the mid-1970s. The cause of the decline is unknown, but may be linked to available food source. Starlings are heavily dependent on invertebrates found in soil, such as earthworms. This food source may have declined, or be harder for the starlings to find due to dry summers.  

How to spot a starling: 

The starling is about the size of a thrush (19-22cm) and appears at first glance to be all black. However, a closer inspection will reveal an iridescent plumage which shines purple, gold and green when bathed in sunlight. Their legs are reddish pink and their beak is yellow. 
 

Yellowhammer 

This ‘canary’-yellow bird of the countryside has seen a serious decline since the mid-1980s. This bird has been red listed since 2002, with the UK population of yellowhammers falling by 54% between 1970 and 1998 according to data from the British Trust for Ornithology.  

How to spot a yellowhammer: 

The male’s bright, golden yellow head and breast together with his repetitive ‘little bit of bread and no cheese’ song is very distinctive. The female is a duller streaky-brown on the breast and has a more sombre yellow head and breast than the male. 

House sparrow

  1. Some of its local names are sparr, sparrer, spadger, spadgick and philip in Sotuhern England; spug and spuggy in Northen England; and spur and spig in Scotland
  2. Most widely distributed bird in the world and highly successful in some parts of the world.
  3. Among the first animals to be given a scientific name.
  4. They are highly sociable birds; they roos communally, their nests can be found in clumps and they engage in “social singing” – where the birds call together in hedgerows/bushes usually before and after the birds have settled in their roost in the evening as well as before leaving the roost in the morning.
  5. Can average about 28 mph in flight having about 15 wingbeats per second.

Starling

  1. Possibly best known for its “murmurations”,which can be up to 50,000 birds.
  2. Well known for their mimicry, very adept at picking up phrases and expressions, some say better than a parrot. 
  3. Mozart had a common starling as a pet which could sing part of his Piano Concerto in G Major.
  4. The common starling is omnivorous, taking both animal and plant material all year round though in spring the animal food predominates and is almost exclusively fed to the nestlings.
  5. Starling mythology associates the bird with: Warriors due to its aggressive manner with other birds; messenger from the spirit world; sign that change is coming.

Yellowhammer

  1. Belongs to the “Bunting” family, though its old name is “Scribble Lark” due to the fine dark lines found on its eggs.
  2. The song of the yellowhammer is supposed to sound like they are singing ‘a little bit of bread and no cheese’.
  3. Yellowhammers are resident in the UK all year, but ae joined by some Scandinavian birds during winter.
  4. Although they look like finches and house sparrows found in Europe, they are believed to be more closely related to sparrows and tanagers of the Americas.
  5. The song of the yellowhammer was believed to have inspired the opening to ‘Fate at the door’ motifs of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.

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   
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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...