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Are you looking for a unique holiday that lets you get closer to wildlife and explore the wonderful scenery of the UK? Opting to go on a birdwatching getaway is an experience that will allow you to get close to nature while spending less money than you might on an international holiday.

Birdwatching holidays are on the rise, with over six million people in the UK regularly taking part in the hobby, and Britain has some of the best spots in the world to see wildlife in its natural habitat.
The experts at birdwatching app, Birda, give you an idea of some of the top birding locations in the UK - where many birds have been seen and recorded, meaning not only are they great spots for biodiversity, they’re also great places to flex your birding muscles.

What’s the best time of year for birdwatching in the UK?
When it comes to birdwatching breaks in the UK, birders can enjoy what’s on offer all year round. Bird populations constantly move as they migrate with the changing seasons. Of course, not all birds migrate, and many species stay put, which means you can always see a huge variety of birds no matter where you go. 
The Best Birdwatching Breaks in the UK
Rathlin Island, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
When it comes to birdwatching holidays in the UK, Rathlin Island is a wonderful spot. Home to 150 people, this island becomes a hotspot for bird lovers. Hundreds of visitors arrive every April to greet the thousands of Puffins that make the 1,000-mile trip from Greenland and Iceland. What makes this island special is that it’s inhabited year-round by 150 people. Puffins usually prefer to breed and nest on uninhabited islands, like the Farne Islands in Northumberland, or remote corners of the Isle of May off the coast of Scotland.
As Puffins breed between April and August, this is usually the best time to visit Rathlin Island. You’ll catch the busiest bits of the seabird breeding season and enjoy summery weather.
Star Species on Rathlin:

  • Black guillemot
  • Corncrake
  • Red-billed chough
  • Puffin

North Uist, Outer Hebrides
Another fantastic holiday destination for birdwatchers is North Uist. This remote Isle in Scotland is home to a diverse array of birds and is very secluded. You will truly feel like you’re in the wild, and this is what makes it a great place for birdwatching.
What makes North Uist special is that it has the country’s largest and smallest bird living in the same area! Here you can see both the White-tailed Sea Eagle, with nearly a 2.5 metre wingspan (8ft), and the country’s smallest avian resident, the Goldcrest; weighing the same as a 20p coin.
One of the best times to head to North Uist is in May. The island comes alive with Cuckoos and huge numbers of rare birds of prey.
Star Species on North Uist:

  • White-tailed Sea Eagle
  • Cuckoo
  • Short-eared Owl
  • Merlin
  • Hen Harrier

Rutland Water, Leicestershire 
Although it might be the smallest county in England, Rutland is home to a huge variety of birds. The various lagoons, wetlands and meadows make a great habitat for some amazing species, from Egrets and Kingfishers to Ospreys, and the Anglian Birdwatching Centre is a wonderful destination. There are more than 30 birdwatching hides with experts on hand to answer any avian questions. 
Rutland Water is a special destination as during the summer, the once rare breeder, the Osprey, comes to nest and raise up to 5 young per year. Each year, they arrive in April and depart for the sunny skies of West Africa again in late August.
One of the best times to visit Rutland Water is in August as you’ll catch plenty of migratory birds stopping over for a drink, or even see the incredible power of the diving Ospreys before they make their big journey south.

Star Species at Rutland Water:

  • Kingfisher
  • Osprey
  • Egret

The Wild Boar, Lake District
The Lake District is a great place to put on your birding bucket list as it offers some great views of many bird species. With vast landscapes and lakes stretching for miles, the Lake District has many incredible walks and birding hotspots to offer.
One of these hotspots is an unlikely recommendation, but The Wild Boar hotel is one of the best destinations in the region, with the 70-acre estate and woodland being home to an incredible variety of over 40 species of bird. If you want to get up close and personal with some great birds of prey, this hotel also offers an unforgettable Falconry experience.

When is the best time to go? For some great bird sightings and to welcome the summer migrant in, head to the Lake District in Spring, between March and May.

Star Species in The Lake District:

  • Great Spotted Woodpecker
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Mistle Thrush
  • Treecreeper

Guided tours, North Wales
North Wales is a wonderful holiday destination for birdwatchers. With a vast array of habitats to choose, from tall mountains to views of the Irish Sea, this landscape holds over 120 native and migrating birds.
What makes North Wales a special holiday destination is the region offers a vast range of guided bird tours. To really boost your birding list, head out with an expert on a guided 5-day tour of North Wales. Let Alan Davies and Ruth Miller guide you through North Wales’ hidden gems and the incredible birds that can be found.
North Wales has great species year-round, but we recommend anytime between August and October. Boost your Bird List with some incredible migrants.

Star Species in North Wales:

  • Red-billed Chough
  • Fulmar
  • Manx Shearwater
  • Pied Flycatcher

Spurn Peninsula, East Yorkshire
Based at the mouth of River Humber, the Spurn Peninsula is a popular destination for birdwatching breaks in the UK. This 3-mile long sandbar juts out into the North Sea and offers unrivalled views of seabirds. This is not a destination to miss, just remember to bring your best scope to get great views of the migrating seabirds.
To see some great sights, the best time to visit the Spurn Peninsula is anytime between March and September. Rare migrants have a habit of turning up on the beach.
Where is the best place to stay?
Star Species in East Yorkshire:

  • Whimbrel
  • Wheatear
  • Avocet
  • Oystercatcher
  • Little Tern

The Lake, Cornwall
For those looking for immersive birdwatching holidays in the UK, The Lake in Cornwall is an incredible destination. This off-grid converted shipping container has it’s own private lake, perfect for Canada Geese, Sand Martins and a few species of falcon! You’ll have wild ponies for neighbours, and there’s a rowing boat to rent, plus a cage that lowers into the lake so you can keep beer and wine cold. Other creature comforts include a wood burning oven and solar power, and at night visitors are treated to a spectacular display of stars.
Between April to October is the best time. Sand Martins arrive in mid-April. 

Star Species in Cornwall:

  • Sand Martin
  • Canada geese
  • Merlin

Birda co-founders, John and Natalie White, discuss the creation of Birda:
"Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and appreciation of birdwatching as a means of connecting people with nature. We believe that people need to experience the natural world before they fight to protect it. We believe that nature is for everyone, and we know that spending time connecting with it makes people happier and healthier. Whether you're a seasoned birdwatcher or just starting out, we want everyone to feel included and welcomed."
About Birda:
Birda – an innovative birdwatching app for curious people who want to deepen their connection with the outdoors – aims to create an inclusive community to experience, enjoy, and protect the nature and wildlife wherever you are. Whether you live in the countryside or in the city, Birda allows users to explore and appreciate the nature that surrounds them through a free, easy-to-use tool for logging the birdlife around you – all you have to do is head out and look up. 

Birda app examples

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