Transitioning from Summer to Autumn brings so many changes in Nature. We have been used to seeing the flurry of birds in our gardens, during the breeding season of Spring and Summer. But now the wear and tear of this time has taken its toll and it is time to moult for many. A time when birds are quite vulnerable, losing their usual flying abilities and expending an enormous amount of energy replacing their feathers. Much like ourselves when we are feeling under the weather, they hide away during these times.
There is also the lure of the abundance of berries and seed heads in the countryside. But as the supply reduces and the weather turns colder, the birds will be back on our garden feeders very soon, so make sure you keep them clean and topped up.
Have you been growing tall sunflowers and are your shrubs and trees laden with berries? Avoid removing or cutting back just yet leaving the seed heads and berries for birds trying to fatten up for leaner times in the cold winter months.
Now is also that time that many of the migrating birds that spend Summer in the UK, are heading back to their warmer climates for Winter. However, they will soon be replaced by a different group of migrating birds that come to the UK for winter. You may well be lucky enough to get an unusual sighting in your garden, so keep your eyes peeled, e.g. reed bunting or brambling.
Do you think that you have the same robin and blackbird visiting your garden throughout the year? This may not be the case as birds can migrate from Russia and Scandinavia to enjoy a warmer winter here in the UK and our resident birds can fly south for a warmer winter sometimes as far as Spain and Portugal. You may even notice that the Continental birds are less tame as they are woodland birds and have less human contact in their home countries.
Also those noisy starling groups sat on your chimneys and aerials will be disappearing soon and flocking in much larger groups joined by Continental birds. These gatherings at night roosts offer spectacular displays that you can enjoy in the winter months.