All illustrations by Mike Langman
Sand martin (Riparia riparia)
Migrant; early March. Lakes, gravel pits and rivers. Our smallest ‘swallow’, brown above with brown breast band.
Little ringed plover (Charadrius dubius)
Migrant; mid-March onwards. Gravel pits and brownfield sites with pebbly areas. Neat plover with pale eye-ring.
Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)
Migrants arrive early March; some birds also overwinter. Woods and scrub. Paler legs than willow warbler.
Garganey (Anas querquedula)
Migrant; mid-March onwards. Lakes, shallow pools and floods. Male has white eyestripe; female is like teal.
Redshank (Tringa totanus)
Resident; heads inland to uplands and wet meadows. Wader with bright orange-red legs and white rump.
Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)
Migrant; early March. Areas of short turf, especially by coast. Male has dark mask and grey back; female sandier.
Curlew (Numenius arquata)
Resident; moves inland to moors and boggy uplands. Our largest wader, with long, curved bill and white rump.
Ring ouzel (Turdus torquatus)
Migrant; from late March. Appears on rough grassland, especially on hilltops. Like blackbird, with pale bib.
Meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis)
Resident; heads inland to uplands and moors. Streaky brown bird with jerky gait. Often gives ‘seep’ calls in flight.
Golden plover (Pluvialis apricaria)
Resident; returns to breed on boggy moors. Golden-brown above, paler below; in spring acquires black belly.
Sandwich tern (Sterna sandvicensis)
Migrant; mid-March onwards. Most records are along sandy coasts. Our largest tern, with shaggy black crest.
Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)
Resident; moves to uplands and inland rivers. Stocky, black and white wader with orange bill. Often gives ‘kleep’ calls.
Main image: Male wheatear in Gloucestershire. © Tim Graham/Getty
This article originally appeared in BBC Wildlife Magazine. Take a look inside the current issue and find out how to subscribe.