As well as our Wardens and volunteers from Wensum Valley Bird Watching Society reporting their sightings, regular visitors to Pensthorpe keep us up to date with what they have spotted.

November Sightings: 

Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)

Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)

Teal (Anas crecca)

Mallard Duck (Anas platyrhynchos)

Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

Gadwall (Anas strepera)

Wigeon (Marcea)

Pochard (Aythya ferina) 

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

Grey Heron (Ardea cineria)

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

Cormorant (Phalacrocoracidae)

Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

Red Kite (Milvus milvus)

Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo)

Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

Coot (Fulica atra)

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)

Common Gull (Larus canus)

Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)

Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus)

Stock Dove (Columba oenas)

Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)

Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

Great spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis)

Dunnock (Prunella modularis)

Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)

Redwing (Turdus iliacus)

Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) 

Blackbird (Turdus merula)

Goldcrest (Regulus regulus)

Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)

Great tit (Parus major)

Coal tit (Periparus ater)

Blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Marsh tit (Poecile palustris)

Long-tailed tit (Aegihalos caudatus)

Cettis Warbler (Cettia cetti)

Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

Magpie (Pica pica)

Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)

Rook (Corvus frugilegus)

Carrion Crow (Corvus corone)

Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris)

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

Greenfinch (Chloris chloris)

Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)

Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Linnet (Linaria cannabina)


What to look out for in December 


Wigeon (Anas penelope) is a medium-sized duck that has different visible features dependent on their gender, season and age. Numbers increase here during the winter months as they visit from Iceland, Scandinavia and Russia. The Wader Scrape is the best place to spot wigeons at Pensthorpe.


Teals (Anas crecca) are known to show bright green wing patches in flight. They increase in number at Pensthorpe in winter, as they migrate here from the Baltic and Siberia. Again, their distinguishing features also depend upon their age, gender and the time of year. Teal are best seen from our Wader Scrape hide.


Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) are one of the most common garden birds which can be seen all year round. Large numbers typically arrive at the park in autumn to stay throughout the winter. We have a small murmuration (about 400 to 500 birds) that can be seen from the gallery.

Witches’ Broom

Witches’ Brooms are a type of gall which looks like bird nests, typically found within Silver Birch trees. They are caused by a bacteria. Now the trees have lost their leaves the galls are visible throughout the reserve.

Tawny Owl

Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) is a widespread breeding species throughout England, Wales and Scotland.  Tawny Owls are nocturnal, therefore their call can be heard around the park as it gets dark.


Robin (Erithacus rubecula), typically associated with Christmas, can be spotted all year round, however we have additional migrant Robins in the UK in winter (from Europe). They have a winter song which differs from the spring/summer one that can be heard most of the day, especially at dusk.