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Gary Martin | all galleries >> British birds > Dunnock
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27-APR-2005 Gary Martin


Llanelli, Wales

Prunella modularis
AKA: Hedge sparrow, Hedge accentor,
A small brown and grey bird. Quiet and inobtrusive, it is often seen on its own, creeping along the edge of a flower bed or near to a bush, moving with a rather nervous, shuffling gait, often flicking its wings as it goes. When two rival males come together they become animated with lots of wing-flicking and loud calling.
(Info from

Canon EOS 20D ,Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM
1/400s f/8.0 at 400.0mm iso200 full exif

other sizes: small medium original
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Anne Goldie 03-Apr-2018 14:50
A Keith Reeve and a Lawrie, lower down the page have also seen the bird that is exactly like the one nesting in my garden. It is as large as a blackbird but with a pale brown head, back and wings with a beautiful peach coloured breast. What is it please.
mylofylo 06-Jul-2017 17:05
Just seen tow male Bullfinches, Derbyshire
steve hartley 22-Jun-2016 08:49
robin in my garden ,with black and white stripes under red breast?
Guest 06-Aug-2014 10:20
Oyster catcher has white sides long red beak and red or orange legs mainly black x @jo
Jo 02-Jun-2014 15:15
Please identify if you can. Seen on the river in my garden a large black bird with two white stripes either side of body with a red beak, and long legs.
Susan O'Neill 06-Feb-2014 14:58
The most beautiful studies of birds anyone could hope for - hope he can get some more any offer them as a book
Guest 02-Feb-2014 21:12
On walk today I saw left over feathers from a kill. Small and light-medium grey feathers with yellow on tips of feathers, any clues please.
Peter Carter 24-May-2012 02:38
@ Terry 5/5/2012 10.08 - Fairlky sure that I have seen this same bird, last summer in Estonia in the country, mixed woodland and open fields, samed recently in similar environment in Essex, each time just inside the end of quite dense wooded area. All were as you describe, except for having a dark brown/almost black beak, strongly hooked. Reluctant to move far amongst the trees, just flying from perch to perch. Maybe 30/36 inch wingspan. Broad wings, fan tail Some kind of Buzzard? though i doidnlt think that they were comfortable inside woods? Any ideas anyone?
Guest 03-Apr-2012 22:35
hilary it sounds from your brief description that you saw a Jay they are a member of the crow family and are very pretty birds with light brown plumage with white and blue and a white rump and a mottled head
Guest 10-Mar-2012 09:03
phil, hedge sparrows are dunnocks, but you might be thinking of a tree sparrow or a house sparrow.
Guest 10-Mar-2012 09:02
stephanie,that was probably a bullfinch.
Fiona 30-Aug-2011 17:08
We've just seen one of these in our garden in Chiswick - August 2011. Very sweet little bird
stephanie 25-May-2011 18:37
Hi, just saw a bird in my garden which i have never seen before, it was all orange apart from a black cap on its head. It was very striking .
phil 24-Mar-2011 21:47
theb dunnock is a quite bird in deed, but when you hear them sing it is above all other beuatifull bird songs
also it is not as far as i know a hedge sparrow and is a different biord all told though similar in looks
Sean 21-May-2009 12:26
Came acoss a pair of birds, pigeon sized, black wings, white undercarriage. What I take to be the mmale has a thin long crest and some signs of grey. They've taken over a corn field near me, and are extremely territorial causing real anxiety to nmy dalmation!
Can't for the life of me work them out.Help!
Guest 07-Sep-2008 19:12
Great shots, After seeing your photo's with the 400mm F5.6L I decided to get one myself.
If you get time please could you take a look and tell me what you thing of my bird photography.
missy_gardenwhimsy14-Dec-2007 09:22
Thank you for sharing this very excellent photo! What a lovely, adorable bird!
Derek Morgan 01-Aug-2006 18:26
Brilliant bird photo's Gary.Very Sharp i did'nt realise clive had a very serious,and brilliant congratulations to you on taking such brilliant photographs.All the best Derek Morgan