How to spot winter birds in Hertfordshire

Catch a glimpse of all sorts of feathered friends with these top tips from Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust

1. Attract birds to your garden

Putting a bird feeder in your garden will help attract different species. A bird bath is a good idea too. You are likely to get robins, great tits, blue tits, sparrows and blackbirds. Look out for the odd unusual visitor: redwings, waxwings, fieldfares, black caps and nuthatches. Go to www.hertswildlifetrust.org.uk/winter  to find out how to make your own bird feeder and for other useful hints.

2. Visit a nature reserve

Many birds come to stay in the UK for the winter, so it’s a good time to get out there and see what you can find. Take a good guide with you, like the handy A6-sized New Holland Concise Bird Guide, which has over 250 species listed. Don’t forget your binoculars! You might see lapwing, snipe or if you are lucky, a bittern on one of our wetland nature reserves.

  3. Be a duck detective

There are lots of different water birds and Hertfordshire is a great place to spot some of them. Try Amwell or King’s Meads Nature Reserves, or Tring Reservoirs. This is fun to do with the children. How many different ducks can you detect? Use our special spotting sheet to help you, available at www.hertswildlifetrust.org.uk/winter

4. Choose a good spot

Make good use of bird hides at our nature reserves, wrap up warm and be as quiet as you can. Tewinbury Nature Reserve has a fantastic two storey bird hide – sometimes it only takes five minutes of sitting in the hide to spot the blue flash of a kingfisher. Large flocks of siskins gather in the tops of the alder trees in winter.

5. For a full list of nature reserves that are goodfor birdwatching, go to: www.hertswildlifetrust.org.uk

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