16 species to see in 2016

16 species to see in 2016

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The new year is upon us, so why not make it your resolution to see a little bit more of the fascinating wildlife the UK has to offer? To give you a helping hand, we've highlighted 16 exciting species to see in 2016. We'll be mightily impressed if you manage to catch them all, but even if you only see one or two it will be an experience you won't forget!

Bag a Blackcap

The UK's Blackcap population is booming, with numbers up 289 per cent since 1970. An increase in people putting out food for birds is thought to be a major factor in this growth. Why not see if you can attract some of these delightful birds to your garden?

Blackcap

Breeding Bitterns

After being declared extinct in the 19th century, the UK now has a small but growing Bittern population. You can try and catch a glimpse of these elusive birds in several wildlife reserves around the country.

Bittern

Britain's Beavers

Another comeback creature is the Beaver. Driven to extinction in the Middle Ages, Europe's largest rodent has returned thanks to reintroduced populations in Scotland and the south-west.

Beaver

Catching Capercaillie

There are few more impressive birds in Britain than the male Capercaillie. Head to the Scottish highlands for a chance to see the largest member of the grouse family.

Capercillie

Experience an eagle

You'll never forget the first time you see an eagle in the wild. Both Golden and White-tailed Eagle populations are on the rise and Scotland, particularly islands such as Skye, Rum and Mull, is the best place to see these majestic creatures.

White-tailed eagle

Help a Hedgehog
Hedgehog numbers are plummeting. Make your garden Hedgehog friendly by providing food and shelter and you may catch sight of this increasingly rare iconic mammal.

Hedgehog

Picturing a Puffin

Of all the UK's seabirds, Puffins are perhaps the most popular. Some of the best places to see these delightful birds go about their business are breeding colonies such as Bempton Cliffs and and South Stack.

Puffin

Reading's Red Kites

The majestic Red Kite's population has increased by more than 2,000 per cent in the past few decades. The birds of prey can even commonly be seen soaring in many parts of the country, including Reading, the UK's largest town.

Red Kite

Rutting Red Deer

The Red Deer rut is an awesome autumn spectacle and, wherever you are in the UK, a herd of deer shouldn't be too far away. You can even witness the rut in London at Richmond Park. 

Red Deer Rut

See some sparrows

Sparrows might not seem the most exciting of birds, but both Tree and House Sparrow numbers are declining significantly. If you feed sparrows in your garden, take heart that you're giving the struggling species a helping hand.

Sparrow

Selkirk's Salmon

Head to Selkirk in southern Scotland and you can witness the incredible spectacle of the leaping salmon as they near the end of their epic migration.

Salmon

Startling Starlings

Like the sparrow, Starlings are a common species that is undergoing worrying population decline. One of the best places to see Starlings' magnificent murmurations is the Somerset Levels, although this spectacle can also be enjoyed at many other locations across the country.

Starlings

Terrific toads

A great way to make your garden wildlife friendly is to install a pond. This can really boost the biodiversity of your garden and help to attract amphibians such as the Common Toad.

Whale watching

It's hard to appreciate the true scale of a whale until you see one up close. Whale watching trips can be taken across the UK, providing a chance to see one of the eight species that can be found in our waters.

Whale

Witness Wild Boar

While their reintroduction was not intentional, Wild Boar are roaming England's woodlands once more. Populations are now established in a number of sites across the UK, with the largest, and most visible, in the Forest of Dean.

Wild Boar

Wonderful Woodpeckers

Woodpeckers are some of the most unique birds in the UK. Of the UK's three species, two - the Great Spotted Woodpecker and Green Woodpecker - have growing populations, while the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is unfortunately declining. Putting out fat balls and suet is an ideal way to try and attract woodpeckers to your garden.

Woodpecker

(All population statistics taken from The state of the UK’s birds 2015 report. All images from Thinkstock/iStock)