December is a time when we all have a lot on our minds – pantomimes, presents and parties. It’s also a time when our wildlife needs a bit of help to survive the colder conditions.
Yes, even on Christmas Day I will remind myself that the bird tables need to be stocked up with food before I open my gifts.
Food is scarce at this time of year with insects hiding away in deep crevices. Foraging time is reduced as the days are shorter and a good supplementary supply of food is necessary.
Of course winter will be quickly followed by spring so birds and mammals must build up energy supplies not just for cold nights but for a whole season of mating, something to look forward to when you are shivering in a leafless tree.
Some of our younger birds and animals are also fending for themselves for the first time this winter, so a bird table is a major part of their survival.
You will probably see robins, blackbirds, sparrows and starlings. Tits and finches are also still around. Watch out for flocks of starlings, jackdaws and pied wagtails. It appears the mild conditions so far are going to make this a great winter for waxwings too. These beautiful birds will flock to berries in your garden.