Happy New Year! I hope 2023 is a fabulous year for everyone. I am deep into my assignment/dissertation/exam revision so my blog posts might be a little sparse this month. I am hoping to get at least 3 or 4 posts up this month though. I’m excited to share this January wildlife post because I have been doing so much birdwatching lately. My parents bought me a pair of binoculars for Christmas so I have been looking out the window into the garden all day. I have started keeping a daily log of the birds I see in our garden at home, and I will be adding butterflies once they start appearing. The butterfly conservation have said that the first sightings of Peacock, Red Admiral and Brimstone butterflies have been seen.
The Big Garden Birdwatch 2023 is on from the 27th-29th of January. Make sure you take part, if you sign up early you can get a free guide. Taking part is super easy, just watch birds for an hour and count how many birds land in your garden. Then submit your sightings online. I can’t wait to take part, I’m actually going home especially for it haha. Read on for my January wildlife to spot in the UK, which includes some garden birds.
Wren (Troglodyte troglodyte)
The wren is a small brown bird with its tail sticking up. Though it is a very small bird, it has quite a large call! I tend to see them on their own along the fence or in a bush going up all the branches. Their diet consists of insects and spiders, and can be seen in woodland, farmland, heathland, urban and suburban habitats. They are seen in all of the UK but are more scarce in Scotland and northern England, and can be spotted all year round. Some think the wren is a boring bird, but I think they are so cute and love to spot them!
Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)
I saw a Great spotted woodpecker in my garden at the end of December which I was very excited about! I’m pretty sure that I heard their drum-type call a few days ago too. Anyway, a great spotted woodpecker is roughly the same size as a blackbird. They have a black and white face, a white belly, black and white spotted back/wings, a red patch on their lower body and males have a red patch on the back of their head. They mainly eat seeds, nuts, and insects and will enjoy a peck from a suet block. Great spotted woodpeckers are seen in woodland, urban and suburban habitats, and are common in England and Wales.
Pied wagtail (Motacilla alba)
Sometimes I see pied wagtails in car parks, but they can also be spotted in gardens especially as the temperature drops and they need more food. Personally, I think that they look a little bit like mini magpies! They are black and white small birds with long tails and are quite lively. As they are seen in car parks, they prefer city locations and are seen in a variety of locations. These include farmland, grassland, wetland, marine & intertidal and urban & suburban. As I said before, they tend to only eat seeds in winter so their main source of food is insects. Pied Wagtails can be seen all year, in most of the UK apart from Northern Scotland in the winter.
Continue reading: January wildlife to spot in the UK
Blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)
The next January wildlife garden bird to spot is blue tits. They are sweet little birds that are often seen in gardens throughout the year. Blue tits are recognizable with a blue patch on the top of their head, white head, yellow breast and green and blue wings. Sometimes they are confused with great tits, but great tits have a much more prominent line on their breast and have a darker navy patch on their head. They are often together as a family, and will hang out with other tits as well. Their diet consists of insects, seeds, nuts and caterpillars and can be seen in woodland, farmland, urban and suburban habitats. They are common throughout the UK and can be seen all year.
Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
I often see 4 or 5 chaffinches in our garden every day which I love to see. Normally the male is sitting in the branches of a tree and the 4 females are finding food on the ground beneath the feeder. The male chaffinch has black, brown, grey and white back/tail feathers with a red/orange/brown coloured breast/head and the top of its head is grey. The female chaffinch has a brown breast, and the back/tail feathers are white, cream and grey coloured. Chaffinches are seen in woodland, farmland, grassland, heathland, urban and suburban habitats. You can spot them all year round up and down the UK.
Dunnock (Prunella modularis)
The dunnock is a small bird with a grey breast, and brown and black wings. My neighbour has a bush that looks very similar to the one in the photo above and I sometimes see a dunnock there! They eat insects, spiders, worms and seeds and are normally seen on their own. You can spot them in woodland, farmland, grassland, urban and suburban areas. They are seen in England, Wales, Ireland all year round and Scotland in the winter.
Other garden birds seen in January:
- Great tit
- Long-tailed tit
- Coal tit
As I mentioned earlier, there have been a few sightings of butterflies in the UK already this year! I think most butterflies are still hibernating, but if you are lucky you might spot one. Generally, the first butterflies out and about are Bristone butterflies which are relatively common in February. But Peacock, Red Admiral and Brimstone butterflies have already been seen. Every time I see a movement out of the corner of my eye when I’m outside, I am hoping it is a butterfly haha!
Continue reading: January wildlife to spot in the UK
Although it is winter, daffodils will start to come out soon and I can’t wait to buy a bunch! I have my vases at the ready, and as soon as they come out I see it as a sign that spring is coming. And with spring, there are so many more beautiful flowers.
Amaryllis are very beautiful flowers grown from bulbs. My parents bought my siblings and me an amaryllis bulb for Christmas and mine has started to grow. I have it on my desk and I’m excited to see it grow every day! They come in lots of colours but are most well known for the gorgeous red.
There are quite a few other flowers blooming in January, but I won’t share them all or we would be here forever! Although it is a bit late, I hope you enjoyed reading January wildlife to spot in the UK blog post.
Which January wildlife are you looking forward to seeing?
Best wishes, Cx