Once the seasons change and colder weather settles in, you might realise just how much the landscape changes; including your very own garden. Moving on from the summer and autumn, your garden takes on a totally new look for the winter months. Complete with morning frost and crisp skies, you might notice some winter wildlife coming out to say hello. From animals to plants, winter can transform your garden into your very own wonderland. So, as you sit looking out at your garden from your warm, comfortable conservatory, look out for some exciting wildlife!
Winter can be tough for many animals, but keep your eye out and see if you can spot any this year.
Spotting nature in your garden
There are the highest number of birds present around this time of year. As well as the popular robin bird, often associated with Christmas, there are so many other birds to try and spot. Whether it be in your own garden or while you’re out and about, you might be surprised!
Drakes in particular are at their brightest during the winter, while you should also keep your eye out for migratory geese flying up above. You might also be able to spot some less common types of duck as they migrate too.
Other birds may be trickier to spot, but easier to hear. Tawny owls are at their loudest during December, while woodpeckers usually begin their drumming in January and February.
Look for tracks
If you are lucky enough to get any snow this year for a proper winter, you might be able to see the tracks made by certain wildlife roaming around. Deer, foxes and badgers are often elusive creatures but the snow can help you spot where they’ve been exploring!
If there isn’t any snow forecast, you might still have the opportunity. Areas of muddy landscape may also leave tracks of animals passing through. What’s more, there are fewer plants to obscure your view of wildlife.
Helping the wildlife
If you’ve started to notice wildlife appearing in your garden this winter, there are a few simple things you can do to turn your garden into a winter haven and help them along the way. Food can be scarce for many animals, in particular for birds, and many animals look for shelter through the cold weather.
If you have a bird feeder, consider providing food with a high fat content to help keep them warm. For example, you can put fat blocks in wire cages, or use bacon rind to feed any birds that land in your garden. Don’t forget nuts and fruit too; after all, birds need a balanced diet as well!
Other advice to follow during the winter is to be careful with your compost heap. This can be a warm place for frogs or other animals to hide away. If you are planning a bonfire any time soon, check it before lighting for any hedgehogs or other small animals!
You might want to provide nest boxes for birds too. Not only will this help them through the winter, it might also mean they come back again and again!
So, this year don’t neglect your garden in the winter months; create opportunities for animals to come and rest and eat, and spend your free time nature-spotting!