Birds of Brent Reservoir

Set out below is a comprehensive list of the birds recorded at Brent Reservoir — more than 250 species. More detailed information can be found in the WHCG publications ‘Birds of Brent Reservoir‘ (2002), updated in Birds of Brent Reservoir: Facts & Figures’ (see Publications page).

Key to status

Very common: seen on every visit, abundant
Common: regularly seen in the appropriate season
Uncommon: seen annually, irregular
Near annual: seen most years
Scarce: 15+ records
Rare: 6-15 records/birds
Very rare: 1-5 records/birds
Breeding: breeds annually
Former breeder: has bred since 1900 but not currently breeding
Historical breeder: last bred before 1900
Breeding attempted: incomplete or unsuccessful breeding attempt

Systematic list

        1. Mute Swan Cygnus olor
          Common breeding resident
        2. Bewick’s Swan Cygnus columbianus
          Rare winter visitor
        3. Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus
          Rare winter visitor
        4. Pink-footed Goose Anser branchyrhyncus
          Very rare winter visitor
        5. White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons
          Rare winter visitor
        6. Greylag Goose Anser anser
          Uncommon visitor, increasing
        7. Brent Goose Branta bernicla
          Rare winter visitor 
        8. Canada Goose Anser canadensis
          Common breeding resident
        9. Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiaca
          Uncommon visitor, increasing
        10. Shelduck Tadorna tadorna
          Uncommon visitor
        11. Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata
          Scarce visitor
        12. Wigeon Anas penelope
          Uncommon autumn/winter visitor
        13. Gadwall Anas strepera
          Common breeding resident
        14. Teal Anas crecca
          Common winter visitor, occasionally over-summers; bred once
        15. Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
          Common breeding resident
        16. Pintail Anas acuta
          Uncommon winter visitor, occasionally in summer
        17. Garganey Anas querquedula
          Near annual summer visitor, overwintered once
        18. Blue-winged Teal Anas discors
          Very rare vagrant, recorded only once (1995–96)
        19. Shoveler Anas clypeata
          Common autumn/winter visitor, occasionally breeds
        20. Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina
          Scarce visitor
        21. Pochard Aythya ferina
          Common winter visitor, occasionally breeds
        22. Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
          Very rare vagrant, recorded only once (2017)
        23. Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca
          Very rare visitor
        24. Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
          Common breeding resident
        25. Scaup Aythya marila
          Near annual winter visitor
        26. Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis
          Very rare vagrant, recorded only once (2003)
        27. Eider Somateria mollissima
          Very rare winter visitor
        28. Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis
          Very rare winter visitor
        29. Common Scoter Melanitta nigra
          Scarce visitor
        30. Velvet Scoter Melanitta fusca
          Rare winter visitor
        31. Goldeneye Bucephala clangula
          Near annual winter visitor
        32. Smew Mergus albellus
          Scarce winter visitor
        33. Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
          Scarce winter visitor
        34. Goosander Mergus merganser
          Near annual winter visitor
        35. Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
          Former common breeding resident; possibly extinct in Britain after national cull
        36. Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa
          Rare visitor
        37. Grey Partridge Perdix perdix
          Rare visitor, former breeder
        38. Quail Coturnix coturnix
          Very rare summer visitor, recorded only once (1882)
        39. Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
          Near annual visitor, mostly in spring
        40. Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata
          Very rare winter visitor
        41. Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica
          Very rare winter visitor
        42. Great Northern Diver Gavia immer
          Very rare winter visitor
        43. Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
          Common breeding resident
        44. Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
          Common breeding resident
        45. Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena
          Rare winter visitor
        46. Slavonian Grebe Podiceps auritus
          Scarce winter visitor
        47. Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
          Near annual visitor
        48. Leach’s Petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa
          Very rare autumn/winter visitor
        49. Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
          Common resident; breeding attempted
        50. Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis
          Scarce visitor
        51. Bittern Botaurus stellaris
          Rare winter visitor
        52. Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus
          Very rare vagrant, recorded only once (pre-1843)
        53. Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
          Very rare vagrant
        54. Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides
          Very rare vagrant
        55. Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
          Very rare vagrant, recorded only twice (both in 2018)
        56. Little Egret Egretta garzetta
          Uncommon visitor, increasing
        57. Great White Egret Ardea alba
          Very rare visitor
        58. Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
          Common resident; bred for first time in 2017 after earlier breeding attempts
        59. Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
          Very rare vagrant
        60. White Stork Ciconia ciconia
          Very rare vagrant, recorded only once (1999)
        61. Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
          Rare vagrant
        62. Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus
          Rare passage migrant
        63. Red Kite Milvus milvus
          Annual visitor, mainly in spring
        64. Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
          Rare passage migrant
        65. Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus
          Very rare winter visitor
        66. Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus
          Very rare passage migrant
        67. Goshawk Accipiter gentilis
          Very rare visitor
        68. Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
          Common breeding resident
        69. Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
          Annual visitor, increasing
        70. Osprey Pandion haliaetus
          Rare passage migrant
        71. Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
          Uncommon resident; former breeder
        72. Merlin Falco columbarius
          Rare passage migrant/winter visitor
        73. Hobby Falco subbuteo
          Uncommon summer visitor
        74. Peregrine Falco peregrinus
          Uncommon visitor
        75. Water Rail Rallus aquaticus
          Common winter visitor
        76. Spotted Crake Porzana porzana
          Rare passage migrant
        77. Corncrake Crex crex
          Historic breeder
        78. Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
          Common breeding resident
        79. Coot Fulica atra
          Common breeding resident
        80. Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus
          Uncommon visitor
        81. Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
          Very rare vagrant, recorded only once (1918)
        82. Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta
          Rare passage migrant
        83. Stone-Curlew Burhinus oedicnemus
          Very rare passage migrant, recorded only once (1969)
        84. Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
          Common summer visitor; occasionally breeds
        85. Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
          Near annual passage migrant
        86. Dotterel Charadrius morinellus
          Very rare passage migrant, recorded only once (1856) (record to be reviewed)
        87. Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria
          Scarce winter visitor
        88. Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
          Scarce passage migrant/winter visitor
        89. Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
          Common resident; historic breeder, breeding attempted recently
        90. Knot Calidris canutus
          Scarce passage migrant/winter visitor
        91. Sanderling Calidris alba
          Scarce passage migrant, very rare winter visitor
        92. Little Stint Calidris minuta
          Scarce passage migrant
        93. Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii
          Scarce passage migrant
        94. White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis
          Very rare vagrant, recorded only once (1856)
        95. Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos
          Very rare vagrant, recorded only once (1846)
        96. Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
          Scarce passage migrant
        97. Dunlin Calidris alpina
          Annual passage migrant, scarce winter visitor
        98. Ruff Philomachus pugnax
          Scarce passage migrant
        99. Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus
          Near annual winter visitor
        100. Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
          Common winter visitor
        101. Great Snipe Gallinago media
          Very rare vagrant
        102. Woodcock Scolopax rusticola
          Annual winter visitor, passage migrant
        103. Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
          Scarce passage migrant
        104. Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica
          Scarce passage migrant
        105. Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
          Near annual passage migrant
        106. Curlew Numenius arquata
          Near annual visitor
        107. Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
          Common passage migrant
        108. Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius
          Very rare vagrant
        109. Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
          Common passage migrant; uncommon winter visitor
        110. Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
          Rare passage migrant
        111. Greenshank Tringa nebularia
          Annual passage migrant
        112. Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
          Scarce passage migrant
        113. Redshank Tringa totanus
          Uncommon visitor
        114. Turnstone Arenaria interpres
          Scarce passage migrant; very rare winter visitor
        115. Grey Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius
          Rare autumn passage migrant
        116. Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus
          Very rare passage migrant, recorded only once (pre-1843)
        117. Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus
          Rare autumn migrant
        118. Great Skua Stercorarius skua
          Very rare passage migrant
        119. Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla
          Scarce visitor
        120. Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
          Common winter visitor
        121. Little Gull Larus minutus
          Near annual visitor
        122. Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
          Uncommon winter visitor
        123. Common Gull Larus canus
          Common winter visitor
        124. Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
          Very rare vagrant, recorded only once (1996)
        125. Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
          Common breeding resident
        126. Herring Gull Larus argentatus
          Common resident; breeds occasionally
        127. Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
          Near annual visitor
        128. Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans
          Very rare visitor
        129. Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides
          Very rare winter visitor
        130. Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus
          Rare winter visitor
        131. Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
          Uncommon visitor
        132. Little Tern Sterna albifrons
          Scarce passage migrant
        133. Black Tern Chlidonias niger
          Near annual passage migrant
        134. White-winged Black Tern Chlidonias leucopterus
          Very rare vagrant
        135. Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
          Scarce passage migrant
        136. Common Tern Sterna hirundo
          Common breeding summer visitor
        137. Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii
          Very rare passage migrant, recorded only once (1866)
        138. Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea
          Near annual passage migrant
        139. Pallas’s Sandgrouse Syrrhaptes paradoxus
          Very rare vagrant, recorded only once (1863) (record to be reviewed as may not be in recording area)
        140. Feral Rock Dove Columba livia
          Very common breeding resident
        141. Stock Dove Columba oenas
          Uncommon breeding resident and passage migrant
        142. Woodpigeon Columba palumbus
          Very common breeding resident and passage migrant
        143. Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
          Common breeding resident
        144. Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur
          Near annual passage migrant; former breeder
        145. Ring-necked Parakeet Psittacula krameri
          Common resident; presumed breeder
        146. Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
          Scarce passage migrant; former breeder
        147. Barn Owl Tyto alba
          Rare visitor; former breeder
        148. Little Owl Athene noctua
          Rare visitor; occasional breeder
        149. Tawny Owl Strix aluco
          Uncommon breeding resident
        150. Long-eared Owl Asio otus
          Rare winter visitor
        151. Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
          Scarce passage migrant/winter visitor
        152. Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus
          Very rare passage migrant, recorded only once (1956)
        153. Common Swift Apus apus
          Common breeding summer visitor
        154. Alpine Swift Apus melba
          Very rare vagrant
        155. Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
          Common breeding resident
        156. Hoopoe Upupa epops
          Very rare vagrant
        157. Wryneck Jynx torquilla
          Very rare passage migrant; former breeder
        158. Green Woodpecker Picus viridis
          Common breeding resident
        159. Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
          Common breeding resident
        160. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor
          Scarse visitor; former breeder
        161. Woodlark Lullula arborea
          Scarce passage migrant/winter visitor
        162. Skylark Alauda arvensis
          Uncommon passage migrant/winter visitor; former breeder
        163. Sand Martin Riparia riparia
          Common passage migrant; occasional breeder
        164. Swallow Hirundo rustica
          Common passage migrant; former breeder
        165. House Martin Delichon urbicum
          Common breeding summer visitor
        166. Richard’s Pipit Anthus novaeseelandiae
          Very rare vagrant, recorded only once (1963)
        167. Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
          Near annual passage migrant
        168. Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis
          Common passage migrant, uncommon winter visitor; former breeder
        169. Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus
          Near annual passage migrant
        170. Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta
          Rare passage migrant
        171. Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
          Uncommon passage migrant; former breeder
          (includes records of Blue-headed Wagtail, Grey-headed Wagtail and Sykes’s Wagtail)
        172. Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
          Common breeding resident; uncommon passage migrant
        173. Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba
          Common breeding resident & passage migrant
          (includes records of White Wagtail)
        174. Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus
          Rare winter visitor
        175. Dipper Cinclus cinclus
          Very rare vagrant, recorded only once (1862)
        176. Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
          Very common breeding resident
        177. Dunnock Prunella modularis
          Very common breeding resident
        178. Robin Erithacus rubecula
          Very common breeding resident
        179. Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos
          Scarce passage migrant; occasional breeder
        180. Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
          Rare passage migrant
        181. Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
          Near annual passage migrant; historic breeder
        182. Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
          Annual passage migrant; former breeder
        183. Stonechat Saxicola torquata
          Near annual passage migrant; former breeder
        184. Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
          Uncommon passage migrant
          (includes records of Greenland Wheatear)
        185. Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus
          Scarce passage migrant
        186. Blackbird Turdus merula
          Very common breeding resident, passage migrant
        187. Fieldfare Turdus pilaris
          Common winter visitor, passage migrant
        188. Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
          Common breeding resident, passage migrant
        189. Redwing Turdus iliacus
          Common winter visitor, passage migrant
        190. Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus
          Common breeding resident, passage migrant
        191. Cetti’s Warbler Cettia cetti
          Formerly rare winter visitor but now resident; probably bred for first time in 2017.
        192. Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia
          Scarce passage migrant; former breeder
        193. Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola
          Very rare vagrant, recorded only once (1955)
        194. Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
          Common breeding summer visitor
        195. Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus
          Very common breeding summer visitor
        196. Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
          Very common breeding summer visitor; scarce winter visitor
        197. Garden Warbler Sylvia borin
          Uncommon breeding summer visitor
        198. Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
          Uncommon breeding summer visitor
        199. Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis
          Very common breeding summer visitor
        200. Dartford Warbler Sylvia undata
          Very rare visitor, recorded only once (2000)
        201. Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus
          Very rare vagrant
        202. Hume’s Warbler Phylloscopus humei
          Very rare vagrant, recorded only once (2004)
        203. Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix
          Rare passage migrant
        204. Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
          Very common breeding summer visitor, uncommon winter visitor
          (includes records of Siberian Chiffchaff)
        205. Iberian Chiffchaff Phylloscopus ibericus
          Very rare vagrant, recorded only once (1972)
        206. Willow Warbler hylloscopus trochilus
          Common passage migrant; former breeder
        207. Goldcrest Regulus regulus
          Uncommon breeding resident, passage migrant
        208. Firecrest Regulus ignicapilla
          Scarce winter visitor, passage migrant
        209. Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
          Annual passage migrant; former breeder
        210. Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca
          Scarce passage migrant
        211. Bearded Tit Panurus biarmicus
          Scarce winter visitor
        212. Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
          Very common breeding resident
        213. Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus
          Very common breeding resident
        214. Great Tit Parus major
          Very common breeding resident
        215. Crested Tit Parus cristatus
          Very rare vagrant, recorded only once (1860)
        216. Coal Tit Periparus ater
          Uncommon breeding resident
        217. Willow Tit Poecile montana
          Rare visitor; former breeder
        218. Marsh Tit Poecile palustris
          Rare winter visitor
        219. Nuthatch Sitta europaea
          Scarce visitor
        220. Treecreeper Certhia familiaris
          Scarce visitor; former breeder
        221. Penduline Tit Remiz pendulinus
          Very rare vagrant
        222. Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio
          Rare passage migrant; former breeder
        223. Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor
          Rare winter visitor/passage migrant
        224. Jay Garrulus glandarius
          Common breeding resident
        225. Magpie Pica pica
          Very common breeding resident
        226. Jackdaw Corvus monedula
          Uncommon visitor, passage migrant
        227. Rook Corvus frugilegus
          Annual visitor
        228. Carrion Crow Corvus corone
          Very common breeding resident
        229. Hooded Crow Corvus cornix
          Scarce winter visitor
        230. Raven Corvus corax
          Very rare visitor
        231. Starling Sturnus vulgaris
          Common breeding resident, passage migrant
        232. House Sparrow Passer domesticus
          Common breeding resident
        233. Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
          Scarce passage migrant/winter visitor; former breeder
        234. Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
          Common breeding resident, passage migrant
        235. Brambling Fringilla montifringilla
          Near annual passage migrant; uncommon winter visitor
        236. Serin Serinus serinus
          Very rare vagrant, recorded only once (1991)
        237. Greenfinch Carduelis chloris
          Common breeding resident, passage migrant
        238. Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
          Common breeding resident, passage migrant
        239. Siskin Carduelis spinus
          Uncommon winter visitor, passage migrant
        240. Linnet Carduelis cannabina
          Uncommon passage migrant; former breeder
        241. Twite Carduelis flavirostris
          Scarce winter visitor, passage migrant
        242. Lesser Redpoll Carduelis cabaret
          Uncommon winter visitor, passage migrant; bred once
        243. Mealy Redpoll Carduelis flammea
          Very rare winter visitor
        244. Crossbill Loxia curvirostra
          Rare passage migrant
        245. Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula
          Uncommon breeding resident
          (includes records of Northern Bullfinch)
        246. Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes
          Very rare passage migrant
        247. Lapland Bunting Calcarius lapponicus
          Very rare winter visitor/passage migrant
        248. Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis
          Scarce winter visitor/passage migrant
        249. Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
          Scarce passage migrant/winter visitor
        250. Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus
          Very rare visitor, recorded only once (1859)
        251. Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana
          Very rare vagrant
        252. Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus
          Common breeding resident, uncommon passage migrant
        253. Corn Bunting Milaria calandra
          Rare visitor

        References
        Batten L., Beddard R., Colmans J., Self A. (editors) (2002) Birds of Brent Reservoir: The Natural History of the Welsh Harp. London: Welsh Harp Conservation Group.
        Self A. (2017) Birds of Brent Reservoir: Facts & Figures (3rd edition). London: Welsh Harp Conservation Group

        © Welsh Harp Conservation Group 2019