top of page


Swans cdt FFCM.jpg

Image credit: Friends of Foots Cray Meadows

The Meadows is home to a variety of birds, who either reside permanently or who visit at various times throughout the year.

A list of ‘Birds of Conservation Concern’ (BOCC) has been compiled, since 1996, by a coalition of the UKs leading bird conservation and monitoring organisations and reviews the status of all regularly occurring birds in the UK.


Each species is assessed against a set of red and amber list criteria. You find out more in this resource created by British Birds.

Species are placed on the “Red list”, when considered to be of high conservation concern, or on the “Amber list’ if the bird is thought to be of medium conservation concern.

This list is reviewed every four years with changes made as appropriate and its emphasis mainly concerns the breeding status of the birds. For example, the red status for the greenfinch is much more relevant for the Meadows than the Fieldfare as it is an uncommon winter visitor to the Meadows.

It is alarming to see, from the latest version (BOCC5 2021), that around 39% of the bird species known to live or visit the Meadows are of either Medium or High conservation concern. With 13% of them being on the list of high conservation concern.

Swans 2 cdt Willie Robertson.jpg
Geese cdt FFCM.jpg

Credit: Willie Robertson and Friends of Foots Cray Meadows

The following list of birds (listed alphabetically) is clearly not exhaustive, but it certainly gives a feel for why the area is a designated as a nature reserve, as two in five of the bird species present at the Meadows are on the red or amber list (those on these lists below are highlighted in red and amber).


It will surprise you to see which birds are on these lists, as many would be considered as commonly seen in the not-too-distant past.

Resident: blackbird, black-headed gull, blue tit, bullfinch, canada goose,  carrion crow, Cetti’s warbler, chaffinch, chiffchaff, coal tit, collared dove, common buzzard, coot, cormorant, dunnock, egyptian goose, gadwall, goldcrest, goldfinch, great spotted woodpecker, great tit, greenfinch, green woodpecker, grey heron, greylag goose, grey wagtail, herring gull, house sparrow, jackdaw, jay, kestrel, kingfisher, lesser black-backed gull, little egret, little grebe, long-tailed tit, mallard, magpie, mistle thrush, moorhen, mute swan, nuthatch,  peregrine, pied wagtail, ring-necked parakeet, robin, song Thrush, sparrowhawk, starling, stock dove, tawny owl, treecreeper, tufted duck, woodpigeon, wren.

Summer visitors: blackcap, common whitethroat, house martin, lesser redpoll, reed warbler, siskin, swallow, swift.

Winter visitors: common gull, fieldfare, firecrest, redwing, water rail.

Keep your eyes skyward as you might see a passing common buzzard, red kite or peregrine falcon.

To learn more about bird identification, you can find out more on the RSPB website.

For further information relating to birds in Bexley:

Support Us

For just £5 per year per household, you can become a Friend of Foots Cray Meadows and help us continue our work in protecting, promoting, and maintaining this wonderful area.

bottom of page