What bird is this?!

Hi there!

I hope you can help me with identifying this bird - it's driving me mad not knowing!

I live in Stevenage (Hertfordshire) and keep hearing this bird that sounds like really loud marbles clicking together. My house backs onto a small woodland area (just in case this helps identify the bird!) 

I keep looking out to see if I can see a bird I don't recognise to look up the sound on here, but never do.  Can anyone help?


  • Hi Danibaby and welcome

    It sounds like a stonechat, but without a description, it's a bit hard to id! Keep looking and let us know if you see it.

    A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

  • In reply to Rach:

    Hi Rach!

    Thanks for replying!  It's so frustrating.  I have ID'd all the birds I see in the garden and have matched their song to each one.  This bird is obviously shy! Lol.  I'll have to try and Google the description and see what that comes up with......

  • Welcome to the forum, Danibaby.

    My first thought would be stonechat too, but I think they favour more open country (scrubland, heaths etc.) rather than woodland.

    Stupid as this sounds, I wonder whether it could be a starling making the noise?  They are excellent mimics, and have a whole range of sounds, including clicking ones.  Starlings would certainly be capable of making the noise you describe.

    Failing that, it could be a crow with one of those executive toys...


  • In reply to Badgerbread:

    Maybe it's a great spotted woodpecker.







    Seriously thinking about trying harder!

  • In reply to Badgerbread:

    Badgerbread, the end of your reply had me really laughing!  I've not got images of a crow in the trees with a football rattle now!! Hahaha.

    I've listened to a Stonechat, and although it's very similar to what I hear at the back of my garden, it's still not quite right. 

    I've learned something new with regards to Starlings....I didn't realise they mimic other birds!  Thanks for that info. 

    I'll just have to continue keeping my eye out for any new birds I haven't seen yet and see if I can close the file on this one! :-)

    One last thing.... this marble clicking bird I hear never appears in the morning or through the day, it's always late afternoon I hear it.  I doubt that's anything significant, but you never know!

    Thanks again ;-)


  • In reply to Jackdaw:

    Andy - you made me laugh with your reply too!! Haha.  I've seen a great spotted woodpecker in my next door neighbours' garden about a month ago.  It's GORGEOUS!!!


  • In reply to Danibaby:

    Hi. i think the bird you heard is a male black cap.

  • In reply to Silent night.:

    Hi Silent Night!

    Oooo, I'll check that one out! Thanks!


  • In reply to Danibaby:

    I may be being a little obvious but It may be an agitated Robin?


    They tick quite loudly, and the sound is very different from their song, as they usually sit inside a bush whilst doing this are not always seen.


    Just a thought,



  • In reply to H:

    Or an agitated Wren


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can