If you are wondering what birds you can look out for in your garden this autumn, as the seasons move into winter. Then November can be a great time to see a wide variety of birds in your garden.
What birds to look out for
You may have already heard the thin whistling calls of Redwing overhead as they arrive in the UK from Scandinavia. These small thrushes, easily recognised by their small size. As well as their red underwing patch and the bold cream strip above their eye. They are common visitors to parks and gardens, particularly those with a plentiful supply of berries.
Redwings will be joined this month by Fieldfares – larger birds, about the size of a Mistle Thrush, but with a distinctive blue-grey head. Like Redwing, Fieldfare is a gregarious species usually found roaming in flocks.
At this time, our breeding Blackbirds are joined by birds from Scandinavia moving south as the weather gets colder. Although these can be tricky to tell apart from resident birds, migrant Blackbirds are often darker and less glossy, with longer wingers and a less colourful (or even jet-black) bill.
While most birds have finished breeding by November, a few species continue to breed all year round. Therefore, don’t be surprised if you encounter a juvenile (known as a ‘squab’) any time from now!
Huge numbers of Woodpigeon can also be seen on the move in November. Flocks of up to 50,000 are certainly not unheard of, so remember to keep a look out!
What to Feed
If you are new to feeding birds, you can choose a ‘year round’ bird food. This is suitable for all seasons and all popular garden birds. Peckish Complete Seed Mix has 12 varieties of high energy seeds and nuts and will attract a wide range of birds
If you are keen to attract a specific type of bird, there are specific foods available. For example, a Robin Insect Seed Mix is blended with mealworms, naked oats and sunflowers hearts that are small and ideal for a Robin’s beak
How to Feed
You will know how much food to put out based on how much is left. If the food is taking days to be eaten, simply reduce the amount you put out
Use several feeding stations to reduce the number of birds feeding in one spot
If you use a feeding table, make sure to keep it clean
Use a ground feeding tray if you prefer to place food on the ground. Just remember to remove any leftover food before nightfall to prevent attracting unwanted visitors
Avoid putting feeders under garden features where birds may perch or roost
If you would like to learn more about understanding birds, in particular about changing bird populations visit the charity – British Trust for Ornithology (BTO)