Peak District National Park by Peak District Online,

Bird Watching In The Peak District

The Peak District National Park boasts a wonderful diversity of habitats, which makes it perfect for bird watching.  Moorland and peat bogs, rolling hills, river valleys and parkland all make up the beautiful Peak District National Park, as well as rocky outcrops and rugged peaks.  Reclaimed reservoirs and wetlands attract often elusive waders and water birds.  Birds of prey also have good hunting grounds.  The numerous footpaths, bridleways, and cycling tracks add to the accessibility for bird watchers and provide a variety of ways for you to head into the Park. 

When you plan a day of bird watching, remember to wear good, stout walking shoes or hiking boots, as terrain can be uneven and rough.  Always pack a map, compass, sufficient water, and, for a long hike, a change of clothing.  Dress for the weather, and check the forecast before you go. 

Reservoirs and wetlands are good places to see Red-breasted Mergansers, Sandpipers, and Dippers.  Moorland attracts birds such as Golden Plover, Dunlin, Curlew, and Stonechat in the summer.  Year round you can expect to see Red Grouse, Ravens, Merlins, and Peregrines.  When you are venturing out onto the moorland, remember that the weather can be unpredictable and change quickly.  Also, attempt to stay on paths, not only for ease of walking but also so as not to disturb the wildlife. 

Peak District woodlands are great places to see owls and other woodland birds such as woodcocks.  Much of the woodland is privately owned, and it is wise whenever you head out for a day of bird watching to discern whether the land is accessible, and to remember the country code.  When ambling through the woodlands, keep an eye out for Nuthatch, Tree Creeper, Longtailed Tit, and Goldcrest.  In the summer, you may see a Woodwarbler or a Pied Flycatcher.

Chatsworth House is a splendid location for bird watching as it stands in the midst of a wooded park, and has pastureland as well.  The River Derwent winds through the parkland, and is an excellent spot to see Sand Martins, Grey Wagtails, and Goosanders.  In the winter, you may even see Siskin and Redpoll.  Year round species include Kingfisher, Grey Heron, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, and Dipper.

The Peak District National Park is an important location for bird populations and breeding.  Bird enthusiasts will find conservation measures in place to promote bird health and population.  The RSPB run guided walks for bird watching, and so do Peak Park rangers.  Whether you are out for a day’s enjoyment in the fresh air and spectacular scenery, hoping to spot an owl or a flock of water fowl, or you are a serious bird enthusiast, seeking a glimpse of a rare bird like a Dunlin, you will not be disappointed by the many opportunities for bird watching throughout the Peak District National Park.  Renowned for its diverse landscape, the Peak Park provides a refuge and haven for many species of birds, and indeed for all kinds of wildlife.  Take a day to enjoy the magnificent wildlife and bird populations in the Peak District National Park—and don’t forget your camera!

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