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Wildlife at Hainault Forest

As many as 158 bird species have been recorded on the site, including: marsh tit, bullfinch, tree sparrow, nightingale, firecrest, linnet, turtle dove, hawfinch, wood warbler, spotted flycatcher, tree pipit, redpoll, woodcock, and three species of woodpecker.

Wintering species include fieldfare, redwing and brambling. The lake in the Country Park section of the site supports breeding coot, moorhen, mallard, tufted duck, great crested grebe, Canada goose and mute swan, as well as more common species such as gull, heron and cormorant. Wintering species include pochard and shoveler.
Mammals include badger, grey squirrel, fox, rabbit, wood mouse, bank vole, field vole, shrew and bat. There are also more than 940 species of invertebrate, of which seven are Red Data Book species (endangered/ threatened), 79 nationally scarce and 176 of local importance. The nationally scarce beetle Rhynchites tomentosus (leafroller weevil), and the local leaf beetle Zeugophora subspinosa, occur quite commonly on young aspen re-growth in the heathland area of the site.

Butterflies include the comma, purple hairstreak, painted lady, gatekeeper, meadow brown, peacock, white and red admiral, large white and speckled wood, and moth species include the goat and old lady. You may also see dragonflies, such as the common darter and southern hawker, and Roesel’s bush-cricket.