5 wild things to discover this winter

Red fox in the snow © Danny Green/2020VISION

Although the days are shorter, there is still lots of wildlife to see and a nice winter walk will boost our energy levels and earn us that hot chocolate afterwards! Find out what to look for this winter.
Starling Murmuration

Starling Murmuration © Danny Green/2020VISION

Starling murmurations

Starlings put on a breath-taking spectacle during the winter months - their famous murmurations are a sight not to be missed! They gather in huge groups and swoop and dive over their roost site before settling down for the night.

The best time to see is the early evening, just before dusk. Visit Stocker's Lake or Tring Reservoirs for a chance to witness this aerial stunt. 

Find out more about starlings
Fox with snowy nose

Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) Vixen in the Snow during winter, Cannock Chase, Staffordshire - Danny Green/2020VISION


Foxes are nocturnal, but in winter, they can frequently be seen during the day, when their courtship takes place. Don't be surprised or even afraid when you hear a spine-chilling scream: It's the female fox's - also called vixen - love call.

Best spotted in a snowy landscape when they stand out with their fiery red fur, foxes are incredibly adaptable and can be found in a huge variety of habitats.

Learn more about foxes
Mallard in sunshine

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos Portrait of an adult male, backlit by evening sunlight, drying its wings. Derbyshire, UK - Andrew Parkinson/2020VISION

Winter Wildfowl

Winter is the best time of year to watch ducks, geese and swans for two very good reasons: the highest numbers of birds are present in winter months and drakes are in their brightest and best plumage of the year. 

Visit one of our wetland nature reserves such as Amwell or Stocker's Lake.

Join one of our wildfowl walks
Holly berries

Holly berries © Ross Hoddinott/2020VISION


Winter evergreens provide a welcome touch of colour in mid-winter. The red holly berries that only grow on a female tree have traditionally been used in Christmas decorations. Historically seen as a symbol of fertility, mistletoes are nowadays a welcome reason to steal a cheeky peck. Ivy is a great plant for wildlife, as it provides shelter and food for many birds and insects throughout the year. 

Find out what the Celts thought about Holly
Barn Owl

(c) Russell Savory


Winter is a great time to discover our silent hunter. Herts and Middlesex are home to five different species of owls, which can be found in higher numbers during winter.

Long- and short-eared owls are quite rare and tawny owls are incredibly elusive and well-camouflaged, so keep your eyes open for the ghostly sight of a barn owl or the rather comical little owl, both of which can frequently be seen during the day.

The best places to spot them are Thorley Wash or Tring Reservoirs.

Learn more about the ghostly barn owl