As a birdwatcher in the UK, spring is one of the most exciting seasons to look forward to. The arrival of new migrants and the beginning of the breeding season make it a prime time for bird watching. Here are ten highlights of spring for a birdwatcher:
In spring, many bird species that migrate to warmer climates during the winter months begin to return to England. One such species is the Swallow, which arrives in March or April, with its distinctive blue-black wings and red-brown forehead. Other migratory birds that can be spotted during this season include Sand Martins, Chiffchaffs, and Blackcaps.
Spring marks the beginning of the breeding season for many bird species in England. The birds begin to sing and perform courtship displays to attract mates. This is a great opportunity for birdwatchers to observe these fascinating behaviors. One of the most iconic displays is the sky dance of the male Lapwing, which involves it rising high into the air and tumbling down while making a distinctive “pee-wit” call.
One of the most celebrated events of the spring season for birdwatchers is the Dawn Chorus. This occurs when birds begin to sing at dawn to establish their territory and attract mates. The Dawn Chorus typically occurs in April and May, with the Blackbird, Song Thrush, and Robin being some of the most commonly heard species. Birdwatchers can experience this amazing natural symphony by waking up early and heading out to a nearby park or woodland.
Many bird species can be observed in gardens throughout England during the spring season. Providing bird feeders and nesting boxes can attract a range of species, including the Bullfinch, Goldfinch, and House Sparrow. Additionally, gardens provide excellent opportunities to observe birds as they forage for insects and other food sources during the breeding season.
Spring also sees the blooming of cherry blossoms in parks and gardens across England. This provides a beautiful backdrop for birdwatching and attracts a wide range of bird species. One such species is the Blackcap, which feeds on the nectar of cherry blossoms. Other species that can be spotted in cherry blossom trees include the Blue Tit, Great Tit, and Chaffinch.
Wetlands are particularly exciting during spring as they become home to a wide variety of bird species. Marshes, swamps, and other wetland habitats provide breeding grounds for several bird species, including ducks, swans, and geese. Wetlands also attract wading birds such as the Common Sandpiper, which can be seen feeding along the edges of streams and rivers.
Spring is a great time to explore woodland habitats in England, as many bird species make their homes in these areas. Some of the most notable species to look out for include the Nuthatch, Treecreeper, and Great Spotted Woodpecker. Additionally, the woodland floor comes alive with wildflowers and insects during spring, creating a rich ecosystem that supports many bird species.
Spring is also a good time to spot raptors, as many species of birds of prey begin to migrate through England on their way to breeding grounds further north. Look out for species such as the Osprey, Honey Buzzard, and Marsh Harrier as they pass through the country during the spring season.
Coastal areas of England provide excellent opportunities for observing nesting seabirds during the spring season. Species such as the Guillemot, Razorbill, and Puffin return to their breeding colonies during this time, providing spectacular displays of courtship rituals and parenting behaviors.
Spring is also a time for local birding events, where birdwatchers can gather to explore local habitats and learn more about the birds in their area. These events often include guided walks, talks by local experts, and opportunities to connect with other bird enthusiasts.
In conclusion, there are many exciting highlights for birdwatchers to look forward to during the spring season in the UK. From migratory birds to nesting seabirds, there are many opportunities to observe and appreciate the diverse birdlife.