There are lots of wonderful birds to look out for during the winter, some are resident in the UK and some migrate from other parts of Europe looking for food or places to nest. See how many you can spot over the festive period.
Here are some of our favourites:
The robin is one of our most famous winter birds, a symbol of the festive season it adorns Christmas cards every year. It is a regular garden visitor but is also common in parks, scrub and woodland. It is a very territorial bird and sings loudly from prominent perches right through the winter to mark its space.
Photo of Robin - Mark Hamblin/2020VISION
Wrens are a tiny bird that can be found in most habitats where there are plenty of insects to eat! They build their nest out of moss and twigs in bushes and rock crevices. The wren is the most common breeding bird in the UK; there are around 8.6 million breeding territories across the country.
The mistle thrush is a large songbird, most commonly found in parks, gardens, woodland and scrub. It loves the sticky berries on Mistletoe tree, which is where it probably gets its name! It actually helps Mistletoe to thrive as it disperses the seeds in its droppings.
The redwing is a winter visitor to the UK, it enjoys the feast of seasonal berries our hedgerows, parks and gardens have to offer! They migrate here at night from Iceland and Scandinavia and can often be spotted moving from bush to bush looking for food.
The fieldfare is also a winter visitor that comes to the UK looking for food. They are sociable birds and can sometimes be seen in flocks of more than 200 roaming over the countryside. Fieldfares will aggressively defend their nests often pelting intruders with droppings!
The coal tit is a small tit often found in coniferous woodland, it builds its nest in small holes in trees. They are active feeders and hunt out insects among branches and leaves of trees, but are also well adjusted to gardens and towns and will often visit bird tables and feeders.
The goldcrest is one of our smallest birds, sometimes known as the ‘King of Birds’ it has a marking that looks like a golden crown on its head. In autumn, resident birds are joined by large numbers on migration. It can lay up to 12 eggs in a clutch, which is about one and a half times the adult female’s bodyweight.
Long -Tailed Tit
The long-tailed tit lives up to its name and can be easily recognised by its long tail. It is a small bird that can be found in hedgerows, woodland, parks and gardens. It builds a nest out of moss in a bush or the fork of a tree and it will line it with as many 1,500 feathers to make it soft for the eggs they will lay.
The waxwing is a winter visitor from Northern Europe, it is quite a colourful bird with a large, orangey-pink crest. They can be seen in flocks on bushes full of berries, preferring Rowan and Hawthorn berries, but can sometimes be enticed by hung-up apples.
A common garden bird, the blackbird is famous for its harmonious song. Blackbirds like feeding on lawns so can often be spotted with their heads cocked to one side listening for earthworms. They also like to feed on berries and fruit, so if you leave out old apples it is likely to attract these birds to your garden.
As temperatures fall, there is less food around for winter birds to eat, you can help them by leaving out clean unfrozen water and a regular supply of birdseed, suet products and mealworms.
When you buy your bird food and other supplies from Vine House Farm you help your garden wildlife and also help the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust to protect wildlife and wild places in our two counties. Visit www.vinehousefarm.co.uk/bird-food/