Watching wildlife in the UK in January

New Year’s Day has recently become a traditional outing among birders to see how many birds they can spot.

Wildlife Watch – Winter The coldest winter weather and highest chance of snow is often in January and February. Most trees have lost their leaves and we see the shape of their trunks and branches  most clearly in winter. Large numbers of migratory ducks, geese and swans are present and other winter  visitors to look for include redwings, fieldfares and in some years waxwings.

A to Z of a Wildlife Garden – January (RSPB) If you walk through woodland at this time of year you might hear a woodpecker hammering on dead wood, hunting out insect larvae in the bark. If you see a flash of red it’s likely to be a great spotted woodpecker. These attractive birds may venture into larger urban gardens, especially if you leave dead wood or provide a peanut feeder.

When to Watch Wildlife – January – Excellent page which recommends the following:

  • Bird flocks in wetlands and estuaries,
  • Redwings, fieldfares and waxwings
  • Surprises at the garden bird table
  • Frogs returning to ponds
  • Thrushes, robins and great tits singing for territories