Winter heralds an influx of avian visitors that are often easiest to see in urban areas. Wanderers like redwings and fieldfares may be tempted to pay a visit to your garden if you put out apples and water, though they are more likely to be seen squabbling with resident song and mistle thrushes over berry-bearing bushes on country lanes. If you have succulent catoneater and rowan berries locally, you may be lucky enough to welcome a flock of waxwings to your patch.
The birds’ fondness for these fruits means that they can turn up in the most unexpected places. I’ve seen flocks in supermarket car parks, quiet cul-de-sacs and even on Tottenham Court Road, one of the busiest streets in London!
They often allow quite a close approach if you take your time walking up to them. Most birds, and mammals such as foxes and deer, are easier to see in winter, so don’t be surprised to find unusual tracks in your garden or encounter different water birds vying for scraps on your village pond.
These animals need our help during these cruel months, so keep putting out food and water, and make sure you shrug off that duvet and take a walk around your town or city looking for winter wildlife – I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised.