Mar 2020: Spring birds to spot from your window

Spring is here. As the sun rises earlier and the temperatures creep up, you can spot many more birds in your garden. And with the need to stay indoors at the moment, this could be a welcome activity to keep you occupied.

Many birds are around all year, but their behaviour changes in the spring as they start to appear in gardens more often. The dawn chorus is louder, as birds call out to attract a mate.

What can you spot?

Look out for these little birds in your garden – a pair of binoculars might help!

  • Goldcrests. These grey-green birds are tiny, one of the smallest in Britain. They have a yellow crest. Unlike firecrests, these little birds do not have a white stripe above their eyes – that’s how you can tell them apart.
  • Wrens. These are one of Britain’s most common birds, and you can see them all over the country in most gardens.
  • Blackbirds. Although you’d usually expect to see a blackbird in woodland, they often nest in gardens too. Confusingly, they’re not always black-feathered, and can have brown and white flecks in their coats too. Look out for their yellow-orange bills.
  • Goldfinches. These birds love a bird feeder, and can often be seen there. You can spot which are which by their bright yellow wing patches, and the ring of red on their faces above a white beak.
  • Woodpeckers. In Britain, there are two main species of woodpecker: the greater spotted, and the green. If it’s on the ground, foraging for ants, it’s most likely to be the latter! Male green woodpeckers have a red-centred stripe by their beak.

Looking ahead to summer

In the months to come there will be more birds to look out for.

  • Swifts. Arriving in late April or early May, the swifts we’ll see in our gardens are coming back from Africa. They’ve adapted to urban life and often roost in holes in the sides of buildings.
  • Barn swallows. These long-tailed birds are also going to be back from Africa in early summer, to breed over here. Look out for their glossy blue-black feathers and chestnut faces.

Happy birdwatching!