It’s rude not to stare

Pick up a pair of binoculars and settle into our seven family-friendly bird hides across the Nature Reserve. With seasonal migrants and a growing number of wild residents, there are plenty of birds to see.

Idle away in one of our bird hides

We’re always interested to hear about your bird sightings- if you’d like to download a bird spotting sheet you can download one here.

Come and hide out

Bird hides are the best way to get up close with feathered friends and observe them feeding, flying and feeling good in their natural habitat. Our hides are so sneaky, they won’t even know you’re there.

What you’ll see

What makes our hides so special is you never know what you’re going to see, especially if you visit throughout the year. Here are just some of the species waiting to be watched:


Wigeon and teal, Europe’s smallest duck, can be seen splashing out on the wader scrape on the winter months.


Fieldfare and redwing fly in from Scandinavia in the winter, working their way along the hedgerows munching hawthorn and rowan berries.

Sedge Warblers

Listen to the songs of reed and sedge warblers in the reedbeds from the Wader Scrape in the summer months.


In April, Cuckoos arrive back from Africa, cheekily laying their eggs in other birds’ nests, like dunnocks and reed warblers.


From spring onwards, migrating blackcap, chiffchaff and willow warblers can be heard across the reserve.

Avocets at Pensthorpe Natural Park. Photo : Steve Adams


See avocets, lapwings and redshanks taking advantage of seasonal flooding at the wader scrape to breed in late Spring.

No tuts in our huts

Our hides are for everyone. We want all nature lovers to feel comfortable – whether it’s your first time or your fiftieth time. Inside, you’ll find plenty of information about what to look out for. It’s a good idea to keep your voice down so the wildlife doesn’t get wind you’re watching. But the most important thing is to have fun.

On some days we have Guides in the Hides events where volunteers are on hand to help and answer any questions.

Be wowed at our Wetland Hide

Our Heritage-Lottery-funded Wetland Hide is the largest bird hide at Pensthorpe. With expansive viewing panels and plenty of seating, it’s great for big family groups and can accommodate a whole class of students. Inside, there’s loads of useful information about the wet world outside, whether you’re there to learn, draw or just stare at the birds.