LOCATIONS

In an effort to complete this list, I'll inevitably have to visit a selection of locations, I'll run down the main ones here with a brief overview of the habitats involved and some of the more interesting species I've seen there.  As this blog is completed more and more the links in the side panel will give indexes of all the species I've seen in particular locations.  Where applicable I've provided a link to a site about the wildlife of each site.



The UNITED KINGDOM
As the country where I live, this is where I have done most of my wildlife watching.  It is a temperate country with a dense human population meaning much space is taken up with towns and cities and agricultural land.  As a set of islands it also has a lot of coast meaning there is a good selection of seabirds and waders found in its waters.  Other widespread habitat includes inland lakes, deciduous woodland and coniferous woodland, with large areas of Hills and Mountains being found in Wales and Scotland.

Summary of major locations used on this site -

Northants and Rutland
Northants and Rutland are primarily made up of medium sized towns and farmland with a scattering of woodland meaning that the species tend to be fairly uniform throughout.  The primary birdwatching sites in the area are reservoirs and former gravel pits including DITCHFORD, PITSFORD, SUMMER LEYS and most famously RUTLAND WATER.  These sites attract waders, rare gulls and wintering waterbirds.

Northumbria
Northumbria is a great Birdwatching county - it has a mixture of coastal marshes, inland hillside moorland, pine forest and coastal.  The most famous site is the FARNE ISLANDS which are one of the best places to see many of Britain's seabirds. 

London Parks
While not the most obvious wildlife watching location, the London Parks are surprisingly good for wildlife, particularly birds.  In fact because the parks are the only large green spaces in London and there are so many people there, it means that migrants are bottlenecked and with such a high population density of humans they are more likely to be located making it a prime place for chasing reports of unusual migrants and vagrants.  The best of the central parks is REGENT'S PARK, although KENSINGTON GARDENS can also be quite rewarding.  While not strictly a park, RAINHAM MARSHES on the outskirts is one of the best birdwatching sites I've visited, where more or less anything can turn up due to its location on the Thames.

Kent Marshes
The Kent Marshes are easily accessible from Central London and are a wonderful place for birdwatching, particularly during migration times and Winter.  In Winter they get influxes of migratory raptors and wildfowl while during Spring and Autumn are very good for seeing broad selections of waders on passage.  ELMLEY MARSHES are particularly good for raptors and waterfowl, while OARE MARSHES provides stunning close up views of waders during migration.  However, even a walk along the seafront built up HERNE BAY AREA can yield waders, raptors and scarce winter passerine vagrants.

Cumbria
Cumbria is most famous for the Lake District, but for the most part, none of it is particularly species dense for birds during the Summer.  DERWANT WATER and others of the Lakes are home to waterbird species not found so much in the south of the country while the surrounding deciduous woodland can be home to species of old oak woodland specialists.  Also of note is ST BEES HEAD, the only location in England where all four species of Britains Auks can be found, in addition to the usual sea watching benefits of a headland.

Cornwall
As a county that is essentially a large peninsula out into the Atlantic, the two major sought after groups of birds seen in the county are seabirds and vagrants.  My own personal bird watching in the county has been very localised to a few spots, but primarily TREVOSE HEAD - a spot which is a good site for not only for watching the birds of the cliffs and seas, but also the ground nesting birds found on the gorse and heather atop the cliffs.

SPAIN
In contrast to the UK, Spain is of course much hotter and dryer has of course a Mediterranean climate consisting of far more grassland and scrub, rather than forest compared to the UK.  I've visted Spain twice, although only once with any birdwatching.

Doñana
Sitting on the edge of the huge Doñana wetlands, EL ROCIO is a small town that just happened to be the most conveniant location to visit from Seville.  In front of the town s a huge lagoon which attracts many species, including many that are not found in the UK including various heron like birds.  My visit coincided with about the most empty time of the year for wildlife - a visit in a more peak season would yield far more species.

Seville
One of the largest cities in Spain, SEVILLE is still home to various species that aren't seen regularly in the UK.  It has huge rivers running through it, but primarily wildlife will be seen on the outskirts, although again, as our visit was off-season different times of the year may yield better results.  Most of the species sighted within the city limits by me were passerines of various sorts.

Madrid
Although you wouldn't necessarily think it of a large city with few notable bodies of water in the vicinity, MADRID is a superb birding destination.  It is surrounded by Steppe, Dehesa, Mountains and has two rivers flowing through making it a great site for a number of Europe's most localised and rarest species - 20+ species of raptor breed or winter within an hour's drive of this ciy.

ITALY
Italy is another Mediterranean climate for the most part, however, my only visit where I did any bird watching was to the Dolomoties which is an area of mountains bordering on the Alps at the North of the country, where obviously the species present are very different to those found in the habitats of the South.  I've visitedItaly twice

Dolomites
My visit to the DOLOMITES was years before I started this blog and so the species added here are put in retrospectively, as they still fall in the remit of using a non-SLR camera.  The Dolomites are an Alpine habitat, however we spent most of our time above the height at which most bird species would be see at so the species photographed here are limited.

JAPAN
Japan is in many ways a similar climate to Britain, although hotter in summer and colder in Winter, its nonetheless similar enough to support essentially the same broad groups of species as the UK with only a few different ones.  However, habitat wise, Japan differs substantially - and in some ways could be said to be more similar to how Britain used to be - a far higher percentage of the country is still forested.  Quite often, it has species which are different but fill the same ecological niches as their European counterparts.  I have visited Japan twice.

Kyoto
Although only the 7th largest city in Japan, if KYOTO was in the UK it'd be the second biggest city by population, but because of Japans forested mountainous countryside it is surrounded immediatly in forest that can be viewed from anywhere within the city.  It also has two large rivers running through it which support further wildlife, as well as various parks and temple grounds.

Tokyo
The biggest city on Earth, TOKYO nonetheless does have some birdwatching opportunities.  Most of its terrestrial species will be the same as Kyoto, although as we visited at a different time of the year, the selection was different.  It also lacks the immediate mountain forests surrounding it in the same way Kyoto does meaning that species from those habitats are not present.  It does however have coastal sites meaning it does get a selection of species appropriate for those habitats.

Hokkaido
The northern island of HOKKAIDO is basically the Scotland of Japan, and like Scotland has a broad selection of species that are rare or absent in the rest of the country. Most famous are the red-crowned cranes and steller's sea eagles but a broad range of other species can also be found, more along the lines of Siberian species than Japanese ones.

OTHER COUNTRIES
I have visited other countries including France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Turkey, but didn't do any bird photography while I was there that and didn't see any species which aren't covered elsewhere. .