Happy December! What advent calendar do you have? Have you already opened door number 1? A new month means it’s time for the December wildlife to spot in the UK. This is my favourite post to write each month so I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I do :).
Greenfinch (Chloris chloris)
A male greenfinch is mainly olive-green with parts yellow on its tail and wings. The female is the same, with slightly duller colours. They are roughly the size of a Sparrow. Greenfinches mainly feed on insects and seeds, they particularly enjoy sunflower seeds. It is found in woodland, farmland, suburban and urban places and you can see them all year round.
There has been a recent decline in Greenfinches due to a parasite-induced disease called trichomonosis which is transmitted through damp bird food in feeders. Make sure you clean your bird feeders and let them dry or you could purchase one from Finches Friends which I shared in my latest gift guide.
Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
Goldfinch is one of my favourite birds as they are so colourful. They are sociable birds, at home, we have lots coming and going on our bird feeder! They have a long and sharp beak to be able to access seeds from thistles (like the one in the photo). Goldfinches can be seen all year round, although some choose to migrate going to Spain, France and Belgium. They like parks, heathland, gardens, and orchards and are seen in farmland, urban and suburban areas. They’re mainly spotted in Southern England and feed on seeds and insects.
Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
Robins are one of the most common UK birds as they are very confident and are seen all year round. They are especially well-known for being Christmas related and are often on Christmas cards. Robins have a memorable song which they sing throughout the day and even at night! They are certainly not fussy birds as they eat worms, seeds, fruits, insects and other invertebrates. I have been lucky enough to see a few on my window bird feeder which I love.
Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Starling is a black-coloured bird with specks of purple-green iridisence. It is smaller than a blackbird, has a short tail and triangular wings. A murmuration if starlings is the massive bird flocks you see flying together and creating beautiful patterns. They have a noisy call, at home there is a flock of them in a neighbour’s tree and I can hear them very well in my room!
Although they are quite common garden birds, they are actually on the red list, which means they are in critical decline. The Starling diet mainly consists of invertebrates and fruit. They are seen throughout the UK apart from Scottish Highlands and are most common in the south. Starlings can be seen all year round, a lot of birds come over in autumn to spend the winter months here.
Other December wildlife garden birds found in the UK:
- Long-tailed Tit
- Mistle Thrush
- Blue Tit
- Great Tit
- House Sparrow
Continue reading: December wildlife to spot in the UK
Although a lot of pansies flower in the spring and summer, there are some winter-hardy ones. These flowers start to bloom in autumn and carry on until spring. Deadhead the flowers to keep them in bloom longer.
Mahonia is a shrub with spikes of yellow flowers in the spring and purple berries in the autumn/winter. They start flowering in November until around March. They are easy to grow and the berries are perfect for wildlife!
Winter honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima)
Winter honeysuckle is a shrub with highly scented white creamy flowers. It is in bloom from mid-December until March. It forms its flowers in April of the following year so if you are intending to prune it, you should do that in March.
I hope you have a lovely December! As I have just over 1 week left in Bournemouth, I am trying to pack in as many fun activities whilst also doing as much studying.
Which December wildlife are you looking forward to seeing in the UK?
Best wishes, Cx
Goldfinch are SUCH beautiful birds! We get lots of robins in our garden. I also didn’t know there are some Pansies that are hardy enough to withstand winter! They’re one of my favourite flowers x
They really are! x
Fransic verso says
This is great and loves the plants and flowers. Never been to the UK this month.
How truly beautiful are those birds and how talented you are as a photgrapher to capture their beauty. Wish I could do that!
I got these photos from Unsplash or another website but I’ve credited them 🙂
Molly | Transatlantic Notes says
I really miss seeing the Robins in the UK (the ones here in my part of the U.S. do not look the same and are not as nearly as cute, haha). It’s lovely to think about the seasonal changes and what beauty comes out during December (despite the cold). Thanks for sharing!
Aw, they are so cute
Goldfinches and robins are such beautiful birds! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
I agree x
I love birds. My favourite bird that we spot this time of year is the Cardinal. I love seeing how the red stands out against the snow.
I got my daughter an Advent calendar that has 24 small cat jigsaw puzzles. She loves puzzles and cats so she’s very excited.
Aww, they are so bright! That’s such a fun advent calendar, cats are the cutest
These photos are gorgeous and I love your drawing of the Goldfinch. We have completely different wildlife here in Arizona so I enjoy your post.
Thank you 🙂
Her Digital Coffee says
I would love to spot a goldfinch one day! They are so beautiful with their array of colors. I like to hear that they’re sociable too! I love robins as well.
I agree, so beautiful! x
I love looking at nature and wildlife all year round. Your birds all look beautiful and somewhat different from those in our Vancouver location. Our robins for example are American Robins and have rusty red breasts. Thank you for sharing!
Oh wow! It’s cool to learn about birds around the world 🙂
There are so many things to look out for and discover this December. I hope you have a great month Caroline.
Thank you, you too x
Mummy Conquering Anxiety says
I love this post. Robins are my fave birds. One once followed us on an autumn walk and I swear it was trying to communicate with us. So cute!
Aww that’s cute!
Lisa's Notebook says
What a lovely post, Caroline! We have winter honeysuckle and mahonia, and a daphne, sarcococca sweet box, and skimmias. Gorgeous winter fragrances. And we see lots of these birds every day: robins, starlings, crows, sparrows, blackbirds, magpies, pigeons, finches and tits as well – Alan is kept busy refilling our bird feeders! x
Aw wow, that sounds amazing! Yes my dad has to keep refilling his too x
Jordanne || Ofaglasgowgirl says
I love this time of year and seeing all the birds in the garden. We have a few resident Robins who come along every morning to our bird feeders and take a bath in our mini bird bath we made this year. Also spotted some Starlings as well a few times.
Aww that’s so cute! x