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


9
Yellowhammer

23
Brambling

14
Bullfinch

Log your wildlife sightings here...

Sighting locations so far...


Key

Brambling
Bullfinch
Yellowhammer
This December, January and February we are asking people to help us record three winter finches / buntings: bullfinch, yellowhammer and brambling. 

Winter is a fantastic time to see birds as they are easier to spot due to fewer leaves on the trees and you may see them gathering in big flocks to look for food. Brambling, bullfinch and yellowhammer may visit your birdfeeder during the winter, so you may even be able to view them from the comfort of your home.  Help us learn more about their distribution by submitting your records.
Brambling
Bramblings are seen along the coast as they migrate into the UK to and from their winter grounds ...
Bullfinch
With distinctive red underparts and black cap, the colourful bullfinch can be seen in parks, g...
Yellowhammer
This little golden yellow hedgerow bird has a distinctive song, and is likely to be seen aroun...

Why send us your bullfinch sightings?

The bullfinch is a beautiful, striking bird. Keep your eyes peeled for the male's bright red chest and the distinctive white rump seen when in flight.  The British Trust for Ornithology’s Garden BirdWatch shows that bullfinches are typically seen in fewer than 10% of gardens in any week, with them preferring rural gardens close to woodlands.
 
Since 1967 the UK bullfinch has declined by 36% and is currently listed as an ‘amber’ species of conservation concern. This decline is thought to be due to agricultural intensification and reduced diversity in woodlands.
 
Despite their bright colour the bullfinch is not always that easy to spot.  Listen out for their low-pitched, short whistle around hedgerows and within woodlands.

 

Why do we want your yellowhammer sightings?

Yellowhammers are a bird associated with the wider countryside, liking hedgerows where suitable song posts are present.  This bird, like the bullfinch, is also very distinctive with its bright yellow plumage and a song that sounds like it is saying ‘a little bit of bread and no cheese’.
 
Due to its rapid decline (more than 50%) it is now listed as a ‘red’ species of conservation concern and is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species. This decline is thought to be linked to the availability of food.
 
Keep your eyes peeled this winter when you are out in open countryside, especially if there are hedgerows present.  In winter, if there is snow cover, yellowhammers may be seen to come into rural gardens in search of food, so don’t be surprised if you see them near your bird feeders.


Why do we want your brambling sightings?

Unlike the bullfinch and the yellowhammer the brambling may be overlooked or mistaken, for a chaffinch.  Although similar in size, the key difference is its white rump and its orange and buff colouration, with the male being more strongly marked than the females and juveniles. If you see a flock of finches it is always worth checking to see if a brambling is in the mix.
 
Bramblings are migrants, and the number of individuals coming in can depend on the availability of beech masts – a staple diet of this finch. If walking in a beech woodland this winter keep your eyes peeled for a brambling. If we have another cold winter we may see more visiting our gardens.

Brambling

  • Male bramblings tend to winter further north than females, a behaviour also seen in chaffinches.
  • Unlike most finches, their young are fed extensively on insects.
  • A group of finches has many collective nouns, including a "charm", "company", and "trembling" of finches.
  • The global population of the brambling is estimated to range between 79 and 246 million individuals.
  • The brambling is also known as ‘cock of the north’.


Yellowhammer

  • The nest of a yellowhammer is built by the female and is made up of a mixture of various plant matter, dry grass, stalks and leaves.
  • The eggs are patterned with fine dark lines which gives rise to the old name for the bird of ‘scribble lark’.
  • Poems by Robert Burns and John Clare have referred to the yellowhammer.
  • The song of the yellowhammer was supposed to have influenced Beethoven when he composed his 5th Symphony.
  • Yellowhammer males learn their songs from their fathers, and over the course of time regional dialects have developed.

Bullfinch

  • Bullfinches were kept as cage birds in time gone by as they are skilful mimics and so would be taught to skill different tunes.
  • Bullfinches are so called because of their front-heavy bull-headed appearance.
  • Bullfinches were once considered a serious pest in orchards, so much so that in the 16th century, Henry VIII condemned their 'criminal attacks' on fruit trees, and an Act of Parliament declared that one penny would be paid for every bird killed. However, research has shown that a fruit tree can lose up to half it buds without affecting the harvest – so, the culling of bullfinches was likely to be unnecessary.
  • Bullfinches form long lasting bond pairs.
  • British birds are highly sedentary, seldom moving more than a few kilometres during their lives.

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...