Coast and marshes
Riverside Country Park is very popular and the foreshore at Grain village is a lovely walk as well. Out on the North Kent Marshes the overwintering birds are at their best. Dunlin, golden plover and greenshank are types of wading birds that visit in the winter and the best time to see them is at as the tide is going out when they are hungry and waiting to feed on the mudflats. Shelduck, redshank, oystercatcher, marsh harrier, lapwing, black headed gull, cormorant and coot can be spotted all year round. This month you can also spy on black tailed godwit, brent goose, curlew, magpie, pintail, swan, teal, turnstone and wigeon.
Hills and woodland
The woodland and meadows of the North Downs are mostly quiet in the winter but times are changing and we are having much warmer and wetter weather in the winter. Many birds are very active, such as blackbirds, robins, jays and wrens. We can often see grey squirrels and foxes. If you are very quiet on your walk you can hear small mammals such as wood mice and voles in the undergrowth.
Gardens and greenspaces
At this time of year food is relatively scarce for birds so they are out even in the coldest and wettest weather searching for something to eat. Many of our commonest birds including blackbirds and sparrows can be seen and it is worth keeping an eye out for blue tits and great tits. The robin is also easily seen. You can attract a lot of species by providing food for them in your garden. Various winter flowering plants such as jasmine and honeysuckle will attract invertebrates such as the buff tailed bee which emerges to feed in the winter.
For more information check out our Useful Links page or visit some of the below:
The RSPB has lots of information to help you identify birds you might have spotted:
If you’re enjoying spotting birds, why not join the RSPB ‘Big Garden Birdwatch’ any time between the 29th – 31st January? It’s a relaxing hour in a busy world!
If you are able to visit the coastline as part of your local exercise, please check out the Bird Wise North Kent website for more information on our coastal birds.