Skip to main content  


​Jay in Epping Forest

If you are out on Epping Forest for the day, why not keep count of how many different species of bird you can see or hear? Many bird species can be seen in the different habitats in the Forest, here are a few of those you might see and where you might see them:


In the woodlands members of the tit and thrush families are easily heard. Look out for flocks of finches and tits as they bounce between trees or forage on the woodland floor. A glimpse of the more discrete tree creepers and nuthatches may be caught as they move round the trunk of a tree, listen out for the distinctive call of the nuthatch or the drumming of the greater and lesser spotted woodpeckers. The jay is a colourful member of the crow family associated with woodlands and you may hear its screeched call as it flies between trees.


In the thickets of scrub chiffchaffs, whitethroats and other warblers make their home in the spring and summer. You might also spot the tiny goldcrest, the UK's smallest bird.


In the grasslands green woodpeckers and starlings forage and skylarks nest in tussocks. The song of the male skylark as they sing in the sky is a highlight and is eagerly awaited each year. The areas where grassland, scrub and woodland meet are often the most diverse as they provide a mixture of habitat and food items for bird species to live on.

Birds of Prey

Flying across the Forest habitats are birds of prey such as buzzards, kestrels, sparrowhawks and occasionally hobbys, goshawks and even the rare red kite. In the north of the Forest, listen out for the loud, mewing call of the buzzard as the soar and wheel overhead or for a kestrel hovering over grass verge. In the forest, a tell tale pile of feathers or remains of a pigeon often give away the presence of a sparrowhawk.


​Great Crested Grebe in Epping Forest


Wildfowl such as swans, great crested grebes, gadwall, goosander and wigeon enjoy over 100 lakes and ponds. Please avoid the temptation to feed the geese at some of our lakes and ponds as this can encourage vermin as well as being bad for the geese.


Out on the Buffer Lands within the farming landscape pheasants, yellowhammers and other 'farmland' species are present. At dusk you may see barn owls flying low across fields.

22 March 2012
Last Modified:
29 August 2019