Looking out at our gardens during the winter months can be beautiful. Sparkling frosted lawns, dramatic icicles, and a thick blanket of snow. Discover what birds to look for in your garden this winter.
But spare a thought for our feathered friends. In winter, life becomes much tougher for birds. They have fewer daylight hours to gather food, and snow and ice can hinder their attempts to find enough food and water to survive.
Feeding birds during winter and ensuring they have a supply of fresh water can be integral to their survival. And it’s an interesting time for bird lovers too. As the weather turns, birds flock in from Europe on their autumn migration, while other less common birds are driven to our gardens in search of food.
Read on to discover what birds to look for in your garden this winter.
This special winter visitor is one of the most colourful birds to visit our gardens.
Driven down from Scandinavia in search of berries, waxwings are plump birds, slighter smaller than a starling, with a prominent crest and dramatic black eye line.
Similar in size and shape to a chaffinch, bramblings visit in flocks, often mixed with chaffinches.
These striking finches are easily recognisable by a flash of orange and black, and a white rump.
A smaller winter visitor belonging to the finch family is the siskin.
The male bird will stand out as he jostles for food on the bird table with his streaky yellow plumage and black cap. They love peanuts.
The smallest member of the thrush family, redwings are slightly smaller than our song thrush and have a distinctive orange rump and creamy strip above the eye.
Most common in our countryside, they will visit the garden only when snow covers the fields.
Fieldfares are large, colourful thrushes, similar in shape and behaviour to our mistle thrush but with a distinctive grey cap.
These elegant birds will visit in flocks and they look stunning against the snow. They are partial to pieces of chopped apple.
This distinctive grey warbler was once only a summer visitor to our shores, but an increasing number of blackcaps are resident throughout the year.
They’re drawn to our gardens during winter to supplement their diets.
Recognisable by their caps – black for the male and chestnut for the female – they have a beautiful, fluting song and are often called the ‘northern nightingale’.
When asking yourself what birds to look for in your garden this winter, also keep your eyes peeled for our resident garden birds.
So as you sit overlooking your garden, marvelling at the winter wonderland, hot cuppa in hand, leave some food and water out for the birds and keep your eyes peeled – you never know what you’ll see.