Blue tit perched on garden trellis with flowering honeysuckle

Common garden birds

The most likely visitors to your garden are starlings, house sparrows, blackbirds, blue and great tits, robins, greenfinches and collared doves.

What birds to expect

In many gardens dunnocks, song thrushes and chaffinches will hop around on the ground below the bird table.

In wooded areas you may be lucky enough to see great spotted woodpeckers, nuthatches and coal, marsh and long-tailed tits. Look out for blackcaps, too – they are becoming regular visitors to some bird tables in winter.

Thrushes will visit your garden if they have fruit and berries to eat. These include fieldfares, redwings, plus resident mistle and song thrushes and blackbirds.

Feral ring-necked parakeets visit bird tables in south-east England and are spreading west and north.

Siskins and bramblings can be regular visitors to gardens in some winters.

You may also see sparrowhawks visiting your garden in search of prey. 

Insect-eaters

Insect-eating birds, such as wrens and treecreepers are unlikely to visit bird tables, but for treecreepers food can be pushed into cracks in bark and for wrens, put beside an ivy-covered wall, a stump or along a hedge bottom.

Goldfinches are attracted to seedheads of plants such as teasel. The seed supply can be augmented by refilling the seedheads with nyjer seeds - which they love!

Wren Troglodytes troglodytes, perched on an old tree stump, Co. Durham