Birds | Wildlife

“Those little tiny beings”


Birds | Wildlife

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The soul of the Northern Mountains


The yellowhammer is a conspicuous, vocal, and formerly common country bird, and has attracted human interest. Yellowham Wood and Yellowham Hill, near Dorchester, both derive their names from the bird. Robbie Burns’ poem “The Yellow, Yellow Yorlin'” gets its title from a Scottish name for the yellowhammer, which is given an obvious sexual connotation: “I met a pretty maid, an’ unto her I said, ‘I wad fain fin’ your yellow, yellow yorlin,”

Willow warbler

The yellow-browed warbler is one of the smaller regular vagrants that visit Europe from the Siberian taiga.


Shore Lark

A distinctive lark with yellow and black face markings and black ‘horns’ (feather tufts) in breeding plumage.

They are almost exclusively coastal birds. Numbers vary greatly from one winter to the next. In a good year, a few hundred may be present, but in others they can be very scarce.

Watch for them shuffling their way across shingle and sandy beaches.

Eurasian wren

Eurasian Wren

In European folklore, the wren is the king of the birds, according to a fable attributed to Aesop by Plutarch, when the eagle and the wren strove to fly the highest, the wren rested on the eagle’s back, and when the eagle tired, the wren flew out above him. Thus, Plutarch implied, the wren proved that cleverness is better than strength.

The wren’s majesty is recognized in such stories as the Grimm Brothers’ The Willow-Wren and the Bear.

 Aristotle and Plutarch called the wren basileusking and basiliskoslittle king


Common Raven

Cr-r-ruck, cr-r-ruck!” The sharp, sharp call of a raven breaks the morning silence. ravens are among the loudest birds.

Ravens have been recorded making over 20 different categories of vocalizations, which are used for social interactions, alarm calls, chase calls, and fight calls.

As well as having their own ‘language’, ravens are skilled mimics, with their wide range of calls including popping shouts, croaks, knocks and even the call of a peacock!

Black-headed bunting

The black-headed bunting breeds in south-east Europe east to Iran and migrates in winter mainly to India, with some individuals moving further into south-east Asia. Like others in its family, it is found in open grassland habitats where they fly in flocks in search of grains and seed. Adult males are well marked with yellow underparts, chestnut back and a black head. Adult females in breeding plumage look like duller males.