Winter highlights

Sunday, January 21st 2024

While more winter storms are on the way, it's good to reflect on some of the fantastic wildlife that our recent cold-snap has brought to Foxglove Covert. 

Many of you will know that this year is a 'Waxwing winter', where these charismatic birds have come across the North Sea from Scandinavia in large numbers. It has been an excellent breeding year for Waxwings, so berry bushes in their home territories were stripped quickly, resulting in the mass exodus to the UK. El, the Foxglove Covert Ranger was lucky enough to see a party of three of these brilliant birds near our Lake just a week or so ago. 

Woodcock have also been seen more readily than usual as a result of the freezing conditions. They have a hard time when the ground is frozen for long periods, preventing feeding both day and night. A recent study suggested that the average fast that birds could survive was six days. So, it is a relief that the ground is now softening for them allowing them to find earthworms and insect larvae once more.

A favourite in the back garden of the Field Centre are Bramblings, another stunning winter visitor, taking advantage of the seed that we put out. They are occasionally confused with Chaffinches and can often be found feeding with them.

In addition to this trio of unusual birds, a Crossbill was spotted along the access track - the second sighting this year of this striking finch.

We often get the best bird sightings during the harshest of conditions. I wonder what will be blown in by the coming storm..?!


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