Autumn is a great time to see birds. We’re lucky to get an influx of different species at this time of year from Scandinavia. This means that you don’t have to look too far from your house to see and hear some unusual wildlife right outside your doorstep. So if you’re out for a walk, it’s worth looking and listening for winter visitors. Let’s take a look at what you might find, right here in St Ann’s…
This bird has already arrived in Nottinghamshire. They’re about the same size as a blackbird, but brown with cream streaks, and a flash of red under their wing the same colour as tomato soup. They migrate in flocks and love to eat rowan and holly berries. Keep your eye out in parks and gardens at this time of year, and you’re very likely to spot some.
A larger, greyer version of the redwing, and can be spotted in mixed flocks with them too. They love apples, so if you live near an apple tree with apples on the ground, it may attract some passing fieldfare. An easy way to find them is to listen out for their loud and distinctive alarm call that sounds a bit like a rattle.
It looks like it might be a good year for Brambling this year, with large numbers being recorded crossing the North Sea already. This is a finch, about the same size as a Great Tit, with a bright peachy-orange chest – it could be confused with a Chaffinch, but it lacks the grey on the head.
‘Poll’ means head, and this bird has a bright red dot on the very top of its head. Quite a small finch, the rest of the body is streaky brown and cream, with a pale belly. They come into urban areas in search of trees with seed heads like birch, alder and spruce.
A bird I’ve personally never seen but can arrive in large numbers if the weather is particularly cold in Scandinavia. A very beautiful bird and totally distinctive from anything else, they also love to eat rowan berries, and may draw a small crowd of bird watchers if they stick around for any length of time! Surprisingly, they often turn up in supermarket car parks.
If you’d like to get more involved in nature conservation, consider volunteering in our Urban Nature garden. It’s a great habitat for all kinds of wildlife. Find out more about volunteering here.