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Birdwatching Essentials

There are several things that every birdwatcher needs, on this page you'll find recommended bird identification guides, optics, links to bird sightings pages, nature reserves, conservation organisations, nature reserves etc. You'll develop and improve your birdwatching skills and knowledge by attending Club field trips and indoor meetings, but you'll be able to enhance your birdwatching further by using the following links and information. Links are displayed in blue type.

Bird Identification Guides

Books -

  • Collins Bird Guide (2nd Edition) by Svensson, Mullarney and Zetterstrom.

This book is the go to guide for the birdwatcher with excellent and thorough descriptions for identification including maps, plumage details and sound descriptions. Detailed colour plates make for easy bird identification.

For the more advanced birdwatcher the following 2 guides help in separating troublesome species -

  • The Helm Guide to Bird Identification by Vinicombe, Harris and Tucker.

  • Bird ID Insights by Couzens.

Bird ID Apps

  • Collins Bird Guide App

Based upon the book as detailed above with the addition of bird sounds which can be very useful out in the field. Having the app means you can leave your guide at home and take the app with you on your phone or other mobile device.

Online Bird Identification Resources

This site is useful to look at for ID videos and pointers.

A collection recordings of bird songs and calls.

Bearded Tit at Leighton Moss by Brian Taylor.

Bearded Tit

Binoculars are essential to birdwatching, some birds simply won't let the observer close enough to see all details with the naked eye. Any binoculars will help your birdwatching. Telescopes are also useful for viewing birds and can see much further than binoculars. Telescopes are really useful for getting clear views of more distant birds. Some reserves have telescopes ready for public use in their hides and somebody will normally have a telescope on our field walks. See below links to recommended optic dealers -

Local Bird Clubs and Naturalist Groups

The oldest Bird Club in Lancashire, founded in 1955.

This Club covers surrounding Blackpool, Fleetwood etc.


Shelduck at Martin Mere by Jonathan Fry.

Bird Sightings Pages

The following sites are especially useful to check if you are heading out birdwatching.

If on Facebook there are a number of good birdwatching groups that can be joined including -

Local Nature Reserves

Check out our Where to watch birds page for other local sites.

Bird Conservation Organisations

These organisations promote the conservation and study of wild birds.

Bird Food Suppliers
Other Links
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