One positive about staying safe indoors during the Covid-19 lockdown is the chance to take time for the little things, such as watching the return of migrant birds in summer.
In fact, finding the joy in the little things will quite often make all the difference to the way you feel and watching the returning birds is something that most people can enjoy doing at no extra cost.
It will also be another way to help keep children entertained – and can help to boost their understanding of the natural world.
From the start of April many favourite species of birds make their way back to the UK to enjoy the summer months here.
Which birds migrate from England over winter?
The RSPB estimates that as many as 40 per cent of the world’s birds migrate.
In the United Kingdom we see birds that migrate here for a milder winter, as well as birds that breed here in spring then migrate south in autumn.
These southern migrants returning for the spring will be the ones to look out for over the coming weeks while you remain at home.
And, if you are really lucky, you could even spot a bird on a stopover as it breaks up a longer journey north or south, such as an Artic tern.
People living near to the coast can also look out for birds that live out at sea as they return for spring.
Most birds that head north to spend the spring and summer in the UK do so to enjoy more space to nest in, and with fewer predators.
Food offers another enticement with the temperate, but often wet, summers offing up a feast of insects for migrant birds to enjoy.
Spotting migrating spring birds
Many of the more easily identifiable birds will make a return to the UK from the start of April, with birds continuing to arrive into May. These include:
- Cuckoo – A special bird to spot; cuckoos are usually only in the UK for a short period of time. Arriving in spring to lay an egg then heading off south again in July after leaving it in another bird’s nest.
- Swallows – Murmurations of starlings of one of nature’s most spectacular sights and should be more prevalent through summer. Known to be noisy, starlings have colourful, iridescent feathers and triangular wings that make them distinctive.
- House Martins – You might well find that these small birds make their home in your roof on their spring return. Bluey black feathers, a white underneath and white above the tail help to distinguish House Martins.
- Turtle doves – With brown and black wings, turtle doves are one of the smaller doves with a distinctive, gentle, call.
- Willow Warbler – The tiny Willow Warbler undertakes a massive journey to Africa every year. It has grey/green feathers, a yellow chest and a stripe above its eye.
- Wheatear – These birds can be spotted hopping along the ground and are distinguished by a stripe across the eye, an orange chest and brown/black plumage.
- Nightingale – This small brown bird is most easily defined by its beautiful song.
- Swift – This medium-sized, distinctive bird spends most of its time flying and can be spotted by its screeching sound, dark brown feathers and forked tail.
- Flycatcher – Pied flycatchers and spotted flycatchers head to the UK from Africa. The pied flycatcher is a small black and white bird while the spotted flycatcher is brown/grey. They can be seen snapping up flying insects in mid-air.
Watching wild birds return to your garden is a soothing and enjoyable pastime. Should you however, experience problems with aggressive ‘pest’ birds, such as pigeons and seagulls, you may need the support of a specialist bird control company.
Total Bird Control can put in place pest bird deterrents across the West Midlands.
To find out more contact Total Bird Control.
TBC Nationwide Office, Highfield Farm, Middle Ln, King’s Norton, Birmingham B38 0DX
0121 695 9076