January & February

Birds to look out for in January/February

Any severe weather has a major impact on our birds. Woodcock, Water Rail and Snipe are often out in the open and keep an eye open for Bittern in reedbeds and Smew, usually females, on open water after being forced in from the Continent.

Watch out for:-

1.  Flocks of winter thrushes. Send in any sightings of flocks of Redwing & Fieldfare. Make a note of flock sizes.
2 Any of the following finches and larks.

  • Brambling – note any flocks, a few may come to garden feeders
  • Siskin – note any flocks, a few may come to garden feeders
  • Redpoll –  look out for Mealy/Common Redpoll ssp flammea
  • Linnet & Skylark – note the flock size

3. Any of the following ducks and geese.  Try and count the number of:

  • Shelduck,  Teal, Goldeneye, Goosander, Shoveler, Pintail, Smew, Pochard, Pink-footed Geese, Wigeon, Tufted Duck

4.  Any of the following waders.

  • Oystercatcher
  • Golden Plover – numbers much reduced in recent years
  • Lapwing – note flock sizes
  • Green Sandpiper
  • Redshank
  • Snipe
  • Jack Snipe
  • Woodcock – showing well at present.

5.  Any records of Water Rail and flocks of 10+ Coot
6.  Any flocks of Gulls – record flock sizes and species.
7.  Any records of the following raptors

  • Peregrine, Common Buzzard, Merlin, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Hen Harrier, Rough-legged Buzzard, Marsh Harrier

8.  Any records of Waxwing – a few are being recorded in the county
9.  All records of any Grebes in our area.
10.  On the coast look out for

  • Waxwings, Brent and Pink-footed Geese, Common and Velvet Scoter, Eider, Scaup
  • Bar-tailed Godwit, Knot, Grey Plover, Turnstone, Dunlin, Ruff, Curlew and any Divers or Grebes.

11.  Heron species – Little Egret are now as common as Grey Heron, and both will start heronries by the end of this period. Also look out for the rare, but increasing Great White Egret.

When submitting your records please note species, numbers, date, location (with map ref if possible) for our records.


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