Change is in the air as we are saying goodbye to those hot and dry days and welcome a new season. Autumn means colder nights, shorter days and leaves in shades of red and gold. It’s often the transitionary seasons in which nature puts on the best show and autumn is no exception.
As nearly half of birds native to the UK fly towards sunnier shores, now is the best time for enthusiastic bird watchers! Some species migrate to Southern Europe and Africa, such as hobby, chiffchaff, blackcap or willow warbler. Some, like whitethroat, have bred here whereas others, such as osprey, are just passing through from their breeding grounds further north. Birds like wigeon, water rail and pochard arrive from even colder places to the north and east to spend the winter here.
Why do birds migrate?
Most birds are able to withstand cold temperatures but winter also means food resources become scarcer. Birds head south towards warmer regions offering an abundance of insects, plants and other food sources for the winter before migrating back to their nesting places in spring.