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Annotated Bird List

This section holds an annotated list of bird species recorded at Grafham Water.

Some of the scarcer species have their own page. Please click on the link to view.


  • Red-throated Diver, Gavia stellata - Rare winter and passage visitor.
  • Black-throated Diver, Gavia arctica - Rare winter and passage visitor.
  • Great Northern Diver, Gavia immer - Rare winter and passage visitor. The most frequently-recorded diver species.
  • Red-necked Grebe - Scarce passage and winter visitor.
  • Great Crested Grebe - Abundant winter visitor, common at other times of the year, with small numbers breeding.
  • Slavonian Grebe - The scarcest grebe species. Almost annual passage and winter visitor.
  • Black-necked Grebe - Scarce annual passage and winter visitor.
  • Little Grebe - Scarce breeding resident.
  • Fulmar, Fulmarus glacialis - Rare passage and winter visitor.
  • Sooty Shearwater, Puffinus griseus - Extremely rare autumn visitor (1 record).
  • Manx Shearwater, Puffinus puffinus - Rare summer and autumn visitor.
  • Storm Petrel, Hydrobates pelagicus - Extremely rare autumn visitor (1 record).
  • Leach's Petrel, Oceanodroma leucorhoa - Very rare autumn visitor
  • Gannet, Sula bassana - Rare passage visitor.
  • Shag, Phalacrocorax aristotelis - Scarce passage and winter visitor.
  • Cormorant - Abundant resident.
  • Bittern - Very rare winter visitor.
  • Little Egret - Increasingly common resident, with highest numbers in late summer.
  • Great White Egret, Egretta alba - Extremely rare autumn visitor (1 record)
  • Grey Heron - Common resident, occasionally breeds.
  • Greater Flamingo - A few records of escaped individuals.
  • Mute Swan - Common breeding resident, with a large moulting flock in summer.
  • Bewick's Swan - Rare winter visitor. Formerly more common.
  • Whooper Swan - Rare winter visitor.
  • Tundra Bean Goose - Extremely rare winter visitor.
  • Pink-footed Goose - Occasional feral individuals with the goose flock.
  • White-fronted Goose - Very rare winter visitor.
  • Greylag Goose - Abundant resident.
  • Canada Goose - Common resident.
  • Barnacle Goose - Occasional feral individuals with the goose flock.
  • Dark-bellied Brent Goose - Scarce annual passage migrant and winter visitor.
  • Egyptian Goose - Very rare but increasing visitor.
  • Ruddy Shelduck, Tadorna ferruginea - Very rare passage visitor.
  • Shelduck - Common breeding visitor, with smaller numbers in the winter.
  • Ruddy Duck - Formerly common visitor, now rapidly declining. Has bred.
  • Mandarin Duck - - Scarce breeding resident.
  • Marbled Duck - Extremely rare visitor (1 record).
  • Wigeon - Common winter visitor.
  • Gadwall - Common winter visitor, with small numbers of breeding residents.
  • Teal - Very common passage and winter visitor. Has bred.
  • Green-winged Teal, Anas carolinensis - Very rare passage and winter visitor.
  • Falcated Duck - Extremely rare (1 record).
  • Mallard - Very common breeding resident.
  • Pintail - Fairly common passage and winter visitor.
  • Garganey - Scarce but annual passsage visitor.
  • Blue-winged Teal, Anas discors - Extremely rare visitor (1 record).
  • Shoveler - Common winter visitor, with small numbers resident. Has bred.
  • Red-crested Pochard - Scarce visitor.
  • Pochard - Fairly common passage and winter visitor.
  • Ring-necked Duck - Extremely rare passage and winter visitor.
  • Ferruginous Duck - Extremely rare passage and winter visitor (1 record).
  • Tufted Duck - Abundant winter visitor with small numbers of breeding residents.
  • Scaup, Aythya marila - Scarce but regular winter and passage visitor.
  • Eider - Very rare visitor.
  • Long-tailed Duck - Rare passage and winter visitor.
  • Common Scoter - Regular passage migrant.
  • Velvet Scoter - Very rare passage and winter visitor.
  • Goldeneye - Common winter visitor.
  • Smew - Scarce winter visitor.
  • Red-breasted Merganser - Scarce passage migrant and occasional winter visitor.
  • Goosander - Fairly common winter visitor.
  • Surf Scoter, Melanitta perspicillata - Extremely rare passage migrant (1 record).
  • Honey Buzzard - Very rare passage migrant.
  • Red Kite - Increasingly common resident.
  • Marsh Harrier - Scarce passage migrant.
  • Hen Harrier - Very rare passage migrant and winter visitor.
  • Montagu's Harrier - Extremely rare passage migrant.
  • Goshawk - Extremely rare visitor.
  • Sparrowhawk - Common breeding resident.
  • Common Buzzard - Common breeding resident.
  • Rough-legged Buzzard - Extremely rare passage and winter migrant.
  • Osprey - Scarce passage migrant.
  • Kestrel - Common breeding resident.
  • Merlin - Scarce passage and winter visitor.
  • Hobby - Fairly common passage and summer visitor.
  • Peregrine Falcon - Scarce but increasing passage and winter visitor.
  • Red-legged Partridge - Fairly common breeding resident.
  • Grey Partridge - Formerly common, now rare resident.
  • Quail - Very rare passage migrant.
  • Pheasant - Abundant resident.
  • Water Rail - Scarce breeding resident.
  • Spotted Crake - Extremely rare passage migrant.
  • Corncrake - Former status unclear. No recent records.
  • Moorhen - Very common breeding resident.
  • Coot - Abundant winter visitor and common breeding resident.
  • Demoiselle Crane - One record of an escaped individual.
  • Oystercatcher - Fairly common passage migrant. Has bred.
  • Black-winged Stilt, Himantopus himantopus - Extremely rare passage visitor (1 record).
  • Avocet - Rare but increasing passage migrant.
  • Stone-curlew - Extremely rare passage visitor.
  • Pratincole sp, Glareola sp. - Extremely rare visitor.
  • Little Ringed Plover - Much declined breeding summer visitor and passage migrant.
  • Ringed Plover - Fairly common passage migrant.
  • Kentish Plover, Charadrius alexandrinus - Extremely rare passage visitor.
  • Golden Plover - Common winter visitor.
  • Grey Plover - Scarce passage migrant.
  • Lapwing - Fairly common breeding resident, common winter visitor.
  • Sanderling - Fairly common passage migrant.
  • Little Stint - Fairly common passage migrant.
  • Temminck's Stint - Extremely rare passage visitor.
  • Least Sandpiper, Calidris miutilla - Extremely rare passage visitor (1 record).
  • White-rumped Sandpiper, Calidris ruficollis - Extremely rare autumn visitor (1 record).
  • Knot - Scarce passage migrant and winter visitor.
  • Pectoral Sandpiper, Calidris melanotus - Very rare autumn migrant.
  • Purple Sandpiper - Very rare passage migrant.
  • Curlew Sandpiper - Scarce autumn migrant.
  • Dunlin - Common passage migrant and winter visitor.
  • Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Tryngites subruficollis - Very rare passage migrant.
  • Ruff - Fairly common passage migrant.
  • Jack Snipe - Rare winter visitor, but much overlooked.
  • Snipe - Common passage and winter visitor, has bred.
  • Woodcock - Scarce winter visitor, has summered.
  • Black-tailed Godwit - Fairly common passage migrant.
  • Bar-tailed Godwit - Fairly common passage migrant.
  • Whimbrel - Fairly common passage migrant.
  • Eurasian Curlew - Fairly common passage migrant.
  • Ruddy Turnstone - Fairly common passage migrant with occasional winter visitors.
  • Spotted Redshank - Rare passage migrant.
  • Redshank - Fairly common breeding resident and passage migrant.
  • Marsh Sandpiper, Tringa stagnalis - Extremely rare (1 record).
  • Greenshank - Common passage migrant.
  • Green Sandpiper - Common passage migrant with occasional winter records.
  • Wood Sandpiper - Scarce passage migrant.
  • Common Sandpiper - Common passage migrant with occasional winter and summer records.
  • Wilson's Phalarope, Phalaropus tricolor - Extremely rare passage visitor.
  • Red-necked Phalarope - Very rare passage visitor.
  • Grey Phalarope - Rare passage visitor.
  • Pomarine Skua, Stercorarius pomarinus - Very rare passage migrant.
  • Arctic Skua, Stercorarius parasiticus - Scarce but annual passage migrant, mostly in the autumn.
  • Great Skua, Stercorarius skua - Very scarce autumn passage migrant.
  • Mediterranean Gull - Regular winter and passage visitor in small numbers.
  • Little Gull - Fairly common on passage with occasional winter records.
  • Sabine's Gull, Larus sabini - Very rare autumn migrant.
  • Black-headed Gull - Abundant especially in the winter.
  • Laughing Gull, Larus atricilla - Extremely rare visitor.
  • Ring-billed Gull - Extremely rare visitor (1 record).
  • Common Gull - Abundant winter and passage visitor.
  • Herring Gull - Abundant winter and passage visitor.
  • Western Yellow-legged Gull - Increasingly common autumn passage visitor with small numbers in winter.
  • Caspian Gull - Scarce autumn and winter visitor.
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull - Abundant passage and winter visitor.
  • Iceland Gull - Scarce winter visitor.
  • Glaucous Gull - Scarce winter visitor
  • Great Black-backed Gull - Very common winter visitor.
  • Kittiwake - Scarce passage migrant with occasional winter records.
  • Roseate Tern - Extremely rare passage visitor.
  • Arctic Tern - Fairly common passage visitor.
  • Common - Common summer migrant, has bred.
  • Caspian Tern, Sterna caspia - Extremely rare visitor (1 record).
  • Sandwich Tern - Scarce passage migrant.
  • Little Tern - Scarce passage migrant.
  • Whiskered Tern, Chlidonias hybridus - Extremely rare passage migrant.
  • Black Tern - Fairly common passage migrant.
  • White-winged Black Tern, Chlidonias leucopterus - Very rare passage migrant.
  • Razorbill - Extremely rare winter visitor (1 record - Grafham village).
  • Little Auk, Alle alle - Extremely rare visitor in autumn and winter.
  • Feral Pigeon/Rock Dove - Common resident.
  • Stock Dove - common resident.
  • Woodpigeon - Abundant resident, with large numbers on passage and during winter.
  • Collared Dove - Common resident.
  • Turtle Dove - Declining summer visitor.
  • Cuckoo - Declining summer visitor.
  • Ring-necked Parakeet - Very rare visitor, possibly relating to escaped rather than naturalised birds.
  • Barn Owl - Fairly common resident.
  • Little Owl - Fairly common resident
  • Tawny Owl - Common resident
  • Long-eared Owl - Rare resident (?). Has bred.
  • Short-eared Owl - Rare passage and winter visitor.
  • Nightjar - Formerly rare summer visitor to nearby woods, no recent records.
  • Kingfisher - Occurs at all times of year, but fluctuates between fairly common and absent.
  • Wryneck - Very rare passage migrant.
  • Green Woodpecker - Increasingly common resident.
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker - Common resident.
  • Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - Much declined resident. Now rare.
  • Skylark - Common breeding resident, abundant passage migrant.
  • Shore Lark - Very rare passage and winter visitor.
  • Swift - Very common passage and summer visitor.
  • Sand Martin - Very common passage and summer visitor.
  • Swallow - Very common passage and summer visitor.
  • House Martin - Very common passage and summer visitor.
  • Richard's Pipit, Anthus novaeseelandiae - Extremely rare autumn migrant (1 record).
  • Tree Pipit - Scarce passage migrant.
  • Meadow Pipit - Common resident, abundant passage migrant.
  • Rock Pipit - Scarce passage migrant, mainly in the autumn.
  • Water Pipit - Very rare passage migrant.
  • Yellow Wagtail - Very common passage migrant. Occasional breeding records.
  • Blue-headed Wagtail - Scarce passage migrant.
  • Grey Wagtail - Scarce breeding resident.
  • Pied Wagtail - Very common breeding resident and passage migrant.
  • White Wagtail - Scarce passage migrant.
  • Waxwing - Very rare winter visitor.
  • Wren - Abundant resident.
  • Dunnock - Abundant resident.
  • Robin - Abundant resident.
  • Bluethroat, Luscinia svecica - Extremely rare passage visitor (1 record).
  • Nightingale - Fairly common summer visitor.
  • Black Redstart - Scarce passage migrant.
  • Redstart - Scarce passage migrant.
  • Whinchat - Scarce passage migrant.
  • Stonechat - Fairly common passage migrant.
  • Wheatear - Common passage migrant.
  • Fieldfare - Very common winter migrant.
  • Ring Ouzel - Scarce passage migrant, mainly in spring.
  • Blackbird - Abundant resident.
  • Song Thrush - Declining resident.
  • Redwing - Very common winter migrant.
  • Mistle Thrush - Common resident.
  • Cetti's Warbler, Cettia cetti - Extremely rare visitor (1 record).
  • Grasshopper Warbler - Scarce summer visitor.
  • Sedge Warbler - Very common summer visitor.
  • Reed Warbler - Common summer visitor.
  • Lesser Whitethroat - Common summer visitor.
  • Whitethroat - Very common summer visitor.
  • Garden Warbler - Common summer visitor.
  • Blackcap - Very common summer visitor.
  • Wood Warbler - Very rare passage migrant (mainly spring).
  • Chiffchaff - Very common summer visitor, with regular winter records.
  • Willow Warbler - Very common summer visitor.
  • Spotted Flycatcher - Much declined summer visitor, now more common as an autumn passage migrant.
  • Pied Flycatcher - Very rare autumn passage migrant.
  • Goldcrest - Common resident, very common on passage.
  • Firecrest - Rare passage and winter visitor.
  • Bearded Tit - Formerly more common, now very rare winter visitor.
  • Long-tailed Tit - Very common resident.
  • Marsh Tit - Common resident.
  • Willow Tit - Formerly common resident, now absent with no recent records.
  • Coal Tit - Common resident.
  • Blue Tit - Abundant resident.
  • Great Tit - Abundant resident.
  • Nuthatch - Scarce resident.
  • Treecreeper - Common resident.
  • Golden Oriole - Very rare passage migrant.
  • Red-backed Shrike - Very rare passage migrant.
  • Great Grey Shrike - Very rare winter visitor.
  • Jay - Fairly common resident.
  • Magpie - Very common resident.
  • Jackdaw - Very common resident.
  • Rook - Very common resident.
  • Carrion Crow - Very common resident.
  • Hooded Crow - Very rare winter visitor.
  • Starling - Very common resident.
  • House Sparrow - Very common resident.
  • Tree Sparrow - Former status unclear. Now rare.
  • Chaffinch - Very common resident.
  • Brambling - Passage and winter migrant in varying numbers.
  • Bullfinch - Fairly common resident.
  • Greenfinch - Very common resident.
  • Goldfinch - Very common resident.
  • Siskin - Fairly common winter and passage migrant. Occasional summer records.
  • Linnet - Common breeding resident.
  • Twite - Formerly scarce winter visitor, now much rarer on passage and in winter.
  • Lesser Redpoll - Passage and winter migrant in varying numbers. Occasional summer records.
  • Mealy Redpoll - Very rare winter visitor and passage migrant.
  • Crossbill - Very rare passage migrant.
  • Hawfinch - Extremely rare passage migrant and winter visitor.
  • Lapland Bunting - Extremely rare passage migrant and winter visitor.
  • Snow Bunting - Very rare passage migrant and winter visitor.
  • Yellowhammer - Common resident.
  • Reed Bunting - Common resident.
  • Corn Bunting - Former status unclear. Rare and unpredictable visitor.
  • Red-headed Bunting - One record, presumably an escape.


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