Wildlife to watch in December
Mature Spindle Trees grow up to 9 metres and can live for more than 100 years. The bark and twigs are deep green, becoming darker with age, and have light brown, corky markings. The plant can be identified in winter by the vivid pink fruits which have bright orange seeds.
The leaves are eaten by caterpillars of a number of moths, including the magpie, spindle ermine, scorched carpet and a variety of micro moths, as well as the holly blue butterfly. The flowers are a rich source of nectar and pollen for insects, particularly the St Mark's fly.
In some areas, it was also thought that if the Spindle flowered early, an outbreak of the plague was likely.
Also look out for:
Although often associated with winter as the focal point of many Christmas cards, robins are around all year in woodland, scrubland and parks in the UK.
They are very territorial, protecting their area with a loud song and fighting off intruders.
The robin's bright red breast makes it extremely unlikely to be confused with any other small birds. Males allow females into their territories during the breeding season where she creates a nest, preferring ivy or another shrub.
Go to next month's wildlife