Birdwatching In Spring
Spring signals the start of the bird nesting season and the time of year when many species awake from their winter slumber. This is also one of the best times of year to see a wide range of birds arriving from near and far corners of the globe!
In spring, the birds are chirping, the weather starts to warm up and the flowers begin to bloom, so what better time of year to take to the outdoors and experience some of Britain’s best wildlife - and of course, not forgetting to log your bird sightings in our handy BirdSpotter app as you go along!
In this article, we’ve put together our top tips on feeding birds in spring along with a list of early migrants, spring birds you can spot; to help you make the most of the season from start to finish!
British birds in the spring season
Read on to discover our favourite british birds to see in the spring, as well as some spring bird pictures so that you can try your hand at spotting them too!
Swallows usually arrive in mid-spring and leave in October. Their main characteristics include:
- Dark red forehead
- Glossy blue-black back
- Black band across the chest
- Long forktail
You’re most likely to find swallows around open pastures of land, in quiet farm buildings and in places where there are lots of insects.
There is only one species of swift that exists in the UK and they can be seen from April through to September. Their typical characteristics include:
- Dark, ashy brown all over
- Pale neck
- Long and narrow wings
- Slightly forked tail
Swifts are often mistaken for other birds such as swallows and martins, however, swifts have different mannerisms that set them apart. For example, swifts prefer to nest in holes and nest-boxes, whereas other birds build nests in the trees.
Cuckoos are endangered in the UK, however, if you’re lucky enough to spot one it’ll be between April and September.
To spot grey adult Cuckoos, look out for their:
- Brown, black, grey and white feathers
- Yellow legs and beak
- Long tail
You can see cuckoos in most places in the UK, but there are larger populations of cuckoos in central and southern England. They also like eating insects, especially hairy caterpillars, so be sure to entice them with our tasty insect bird food mixture!
A typical nightingale’s characteristics include:
- Rich brown back
- Cream and white breast
- Black and brown beak
These insect-eating birds can be seen in the UK between April and August and they’re usually hiding in thick bushes and trees.
Olive-brown feathers. Before you see a chiffchaff bird, you may recognise it from its unique song! They also have:
- A short, thin, black beak
- Brown legs
You’ll find chiffchaffs in large gardens, low grasslands and woodlands and you can spot them all year round!
Sand martins are from the same family as swallows and martins, so you may spot a few similar characteristics.
You’ll see these beautiful birds in the UK from early spring through to October, and they typically spend their time around rivers and lakes.
Wheatears are dainty little birds that mainly live on the ground and the males and females have different characteristics. For example, the males have a mix of blue, black and brown feathers, whereas the females sport orange and dark brown feathers.
Wheatears love insects and larvae, and in the Spring breeding season, you’re most likely to find them in west and north Britain, as well as in western Ireland.
Skylarks are from the ‘lark’ family and like to feast on a range of seeds and insects.
In spring, they can be found throughout the UK, however, their UK conservation status is red so Skylark numbers are in decline.
You’ll be able to distinguish skylarks from their:
- Black, brown and cream feathers
- Short, black-brown beak
- Pink legs
Spring and birds
Spring is the time when millions of migrant birds arrive in Britain, giving you a great chance of seeing some stunning wildlife that you won’t catch in the UK at any other time of year.
This is also when birds start to settle down for the breeding season, so if you’re lucky you may even be able to spot some eggs or fledglings in nearby nests!
What to feed birds in spring
Natural food sources are usually plentiful in spring, however, it’s important to remember food shortages can occur at any time of year; so be sure to keep your feeder topped with high-quality wild bird food to keep your feathered friends well fed!
Foods that will keep your garden visitors healthy and energised throughout spring and summer include:
Also, avoid putting out fat or suet-based products, large pieces of bread and loose peanuts in spring. These foods can cause harm to baby birds so it’s best to avoid these during the breeding season.
Shop at Kennedy Wild Bird Food
Here at Kennedy Wild Bird Food, we stock a wide range of wild bird food that’s perfect for keeping your garden birds nourished in spring! Click here to browse the full collection
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