Birds

A walk along Stokes Bay promenade will allow you to see a few regular bird visitors to our Bay, such as the large, black crows that often cavort across the field next to the sailing club. There are also the sea birds that frequent the beach areas. But to see some of the more rare bird visitors you need to venture away from the beach and on to the wilder ground at the extreme east or west ends of the Bay. Gilkicker Point and the area surrounding the golf course is a good place to start. Be patient, the birds are often shy of humans. At the west end of the Bay you can also spot less common birds on a walk through the shingle grounds of Browndown Ranges, but pay attention to the restrictions in times of opening.

Black Tailed Godwit
Scientific name: Limosa limosa
Sandpipers, snipes and phalaropes
Length: 40-44 cm
Wingspan: 70-82 cm
Weight: 280-340g
A large wading bird which in Summer has a bright orangey-brown chest and belly, but in winter adults have a uniform brown-grey breast and upperparts. It has a long beak and legs, with black and white stripes on its wings. Female Black Tailed Godwits are bigger and heavier than the males, with a noticeably longer beak. Males have a brighter, more extensive orange breast, neck and head. The Black Tailed Godwit can be difficult to distinguish from the Bar Tailed Godwit which has a streaked back.
RSPB Black Tailed Godwit
Black Tailed Godwit
Siskin
Scientific name: Carduelis spinus
Bird family: Finches
Length: 12cm
Wingspan: 20-23cm
Weight: 12-18g
Smaller than a Greenfinch, it has a distinctly forked tail and a long narrow bill. The male has a streaky yellow-green body and a black crown and bib. The amount of black on the bib is very variable between males. The female is more olive-coloured than the male. There are yellow patches in the wings and tail. The young have a similar colouration to the females, with drab colours and a more subdued plumage. The siskin is easy to recognize, but in some instances it can be confused with other finches such as the Greenfinch. Look at the tops of trees to find one.
RSPB Siskin
Siskin
Reed Bunting
Scientific name: Emberiza schoeniclus
Bird family: Buntings
Length: 15-16.5cm
Wingspan: 21-28cm
Weight: 16-25g
A sparrow sized bird with a small but sturdy seed-eater’s bill. The male has a black head and throat, white neck collar and under-parts, and a heavily streaked brown back. The female is much duller, with a streaked brown head, and is more streaked below. It has a long, deeply notched tail. In flight the tail looks black with broad, white edges.
RSPB Reed Bunting
Redstart
Scientific name: Phoenicurus phoenicurus
Bird family: Chats
Length: 14cm
Wingspan: 20-24cm
Weight: 11-19g
An insectivorous ground feeding bird immediately identifiable by its bright orange-red tail, which it often quivers. The male is mostly brightly coloured in various combinations of red, blue, white, and black. The females is light brown with a red tail. Redstarts ‘bob’ in a very robin-like manner. They eat mainly insects; also spiders, worms and berries.
RSPB Redstart
Tree Pipit
Scientific name:
Anthus trivialis
Bird family: Pipits and Wagtails
Length: 15cm
Wingspan:25-27cm
Weight: 20-25g
The tree pipit has a brown streaked upper parts and pale under parts with further streaking on buff tinged chest and flanks. It is very similar to the meadow pipit but has a heavier bill, shorter hind claw and fine streaking on the flank. Tree pipits more readily perch in trees. It is is insectivorous, like its relatives, but will also eat seeds.
RSPB Tree Pipit
Tree Pipit
Stonechat
Scientific name: Saxicola rubicola
Bird family: Chats
Length: 12.5cm
Wingspan: 18-21cm
Weight: 13-17g
The European Stonechat is a robin sized bird. The male has a black head with white around the side of the neck, orange-red breast and a mottled brown back. The female lacks the male’s black head, but has a brown back and an orange tinge to its chest. Both sexes have distinctively short wings. They are often seen on the tops of low bushes. They get their name from their call which resembles two stones being tapped together.
RSPB Stonechat
Stonechat

Bird Anatomy :

Bird Anatomy
The next time you are going to visit Stokes Bay Beach download, print and take this handy guide with you.
See if you can find an example of each.
Great fun for the children, and adults! Download as PDF file
I-Spy Birds at Stokes Bay
If you manage to take a photo of any of these birds (not easy) we would like to see it!