Daniel Canning is back with July’s native bird lowdown!

Posted by: Sarah Ryan
Posted on: 18th July 2016
Posted in: Native Species

Daniel Blog title

Native bird champion Daniel Canning has been back at Knowsley Safari, getting all the latest info on our native bird populations! 

It’s the summer holidays at last! Somebody better tell the weather that though, because when I visited Knowsley Safari this morning, it poured down with rain.

Although, we have had a few spells of sunshine over the last few days, and in one of these spells, I spotted a female Whitethroat in my garden. I have never seen one of these in my garden before, so it was quite exciting!


Some birds to look out for at this time of year are the ducks. At about this time of year, the male ducks will be starting to go into their ‘eclipse’ plumage. Eclipse plumage is where the male ducks moult (replace the old worn-out ones with new ones), so for about 1 month, the drakes (male ducks) may seem to have disappeared. But in actual fact, they have just moulted into brown downy feathers, and look just like the females for camouflage, because they can’t fly when they are in eclipse.


At the very start of my visit this morning, the first sighting was most unusual. It was a carrion crow with white in its feathers. The photo is taken from quite far away, but I thought it was well worth including as this was a first for me!


The first half of the visit was dry, so spotted lots of birds as you will see from the list below, but half way around, the heavy rain started and the sightings reduced rapidly.

Sadly, because of the weather, I wasn’t able to go down to the Wild Trail today, so I shall visit again in a few days time, and do another blog sharing my sightings from down there.



14 Swallows

1 Partially albino Carrion Crow

Part 1 of the Safari Drive:

2 Pheasant

20+ Lapwing

2 Pied Wagtail

5 Black-Headed Gulls

15 Lesser Black-Backed Gulls

Part 2 (by the rhinos):

10 Pied Wagtails

4 Pheasant

3 Lesser Black-Backed Gulls

5 Oystercatchers

10 Goldfinches

10 Lapwing

14 Black-Headed Gulls

25 Swallows

40 House Martins

8 Greylag Geese

5 Swift

3 Cormorants

1 Great Spotted Woodpecker

Part 3:

2 Shelduck

Part 4 (after the lions):

10 Lapwing

15 Starlings

1 Mistle Thrush

3 Oystercatchers

2 Pied Wagtails

Car park by the amusements

Greylag goose with 11 goslings

Article by: Sarah Ryan

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