u3a - Birdwatch Update 9

Winter can be an excellent time of year to see birds visiting the garden for food, water and shelter. It also provides an exciting opportunity to see some species which are only here during the winter months.

There are two main reasons that you may see a variety of birds in your garden at this time of year: migration and scarce food supplies.

Richard from Sudbury u3a took this picture of a bird on the 9th hole.

Lesley from Meopham has seen families of young goldfinches and bluetits regularly during the morning and evening at their birdbath. These species seem to have had a good year in Vigo, Kent, this year despite the steady increase in magpies. Spotted woodpeckers have been less in evidence over the last 5 years, but greens are often sighted.

Margaret from Cestria u3a took this photo of a kestrel balancing on the fence in her back garden. She had to take it quickly from inside her house to capture the it before it flew away.


Robert, Arun u3a, heard this green woodpecker several times throughout the year but this is the first time it has foraged on his grass.


Pete from South West u3a has recently moved to a new house and is delighted to discover that it is frequented regularly by this female kestrel.

This photo of a Hoopoe in the village of Northill, Bedfordshire was taken by Tony from Hitchin u3a. This is a relatively rare species to the UK but quite common in Southern Europe. It was seen in the grounds of Northill Junior School.

We would love to hear from more members about your sightings and for you to share any photographs you have managed to take of your feathered visitors. Submit these through the form on our Birdwatch page.

Mary Gibbons is our Birdwatching subject adviser for the u3a movement, Mary has a lot of information on her Subject Adviser page to help with this and can help with any individual enquiries.

See more of our learning initiatives on our learning pages.