Olav's Wood: Birds and Animals

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Galleries of photographs







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Birds of Olav's Wood

The woodland is a haven for resident, migratory and vagrant birds. Over 140 species have been recorded from the woods. Sparrowhawks breed here regularly. Warblers are common in the summer, including Sedge Warblers breeding in the dense shrubbery in the upper woodland. Other notable birds recorded as breeding in the woodland are Goldcrests, Linnets, Greenfinches, Meadow Pipits and Hooded Crows.

During Spring and Autumn migration periods, the woods provide a much-needed stopping and refueling place for birds, and spectacular congregations or rare vistors may be seen. For example, in early October 2016, the woods were teeming with Goldcrests stopping-off on their way south.

A list of birds of the woodland and surrounding areas has been compiled by Andy Mitchell (2014). This includes notes on their breeding status in the woodland and comments on seasonal movements, scarcity etc.

Additional bird records for the woods: Parrot Crossbill (Loxia pytyopsittacus) [Robert Foubister, Oct 2017], Firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla) [Andy Mitchell 2nd Nov 2017].

A 2012 list of birds is also available.

Common Frog (LJ, 12 June 2018).

Pygmy Shrew in the woods.

Animals of Olav's Wood

Animals in the woods include

  • Orkney vole (Microtus arvalis orcadensis)
  • Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
  • Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)
  • Brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) (Lee Johnson 2015)
  • Pygmy shrew (Sorex minutus)
  • Common frog (Rana temporaria).
  • There is evidence of otter (Lutra lutra) activity (spraints) in the woods (Andy Mitchell 2017).

Other animals may be present.

Photographs of birds in the woods (AM = Andy Mitchell, LJ = Lee Johnson):

Parrot Crossbill (Loxia pytyopsittacus). A spectacular sighting in
the woods. A male (shown here) and female were seen in the
woods on the same day. (Robert Foubister, 22nd October 2017)
A Firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla). Another special sighting,
first seen in the woods on 31st October 2017 by AM.

Redpoll (Acanthis flammea) (AM, 29th May 2018).

Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) in full song (AM, 18th April 2018).

Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus) (LJ, 14th October 2018).

Siskin (Spinus spinus) - not a common bird here
(AM, 8th Nov 2017).

A group of Stonechats (Saxicola rubicola) were
in the woods on 28th Sept 2017 (AM).

Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus) (AM, May 2018).

A juvenile Robin (Erithacus rubecula) in moult
in the woods (AM, 12th Sept 2017).

A group of Wrens (Troglodytes troglodytes) in
the woods (AM, 12th Aug 2017).

Curlew (Numenius arquata) on nest (AM).

Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola) (AM).

Little Bunting (Emberiza pusilla) (AM).

Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) (AM).

Lesser Redpol\
l Treecreeper (Ce\
rthia familiaris)
Lesser Redpoll (Acanthis cabaret) (AM). Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris) (AM).
Wheatear (Oenanthe\
Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) (AM). What to do with an old teapot? A used nesting site (Dec 2010).
These artificial nest sites have now been removed.

Trees and shrubs


Birds and animals

Butterflies and moths



Fauna of the burn

Other wildlife