Wildlife to watch in January
This intriguing little bird is a joy to watch and can often be seen in gardens and along the Flitch Way where, as would be expected with such a name, it creeps up and down trees. The Treecreeper is an unmistakable bird, with a white chin and underside, white eye stripe, brown back and wings with white speckles, and a thin curved bill.
Treecreepers are fascinating and fun to observe, as they make their way up and down tree trunks and limbs in search of food. Their movement is jerky and deliberate, with the tail pushed up against the tree in the way a woodpecker does. They are a solitary species in the breeding season, though, interestingly, in the winter months individual birds will often join mixed flocks of tits.
Also look out for
Redwings are the smallest true thrushes that reach our UK shores. They have red flanks and a prominent yellow stripe above each eye.
The Redwing is a winter visiting thrush from Scandinavia and Iceland, usually arriving in late September and staying until March-April. The Scandinavian birds usually winter in southern Britain and the Icelandic birds in Scotland and Ireland. The Icelandic birds are slightly larger and darker than the Scandinavian birds. They roam across the UK's countryside, feeding in fields and hedgerows, rarely visiting gardens, except in the coldest weather when snow covers the fields.
They are thought by some to indicate the arrival of autumn in some regions of the UK.
The Bohemian Waxwing derives its name from the blobs that look like red sealing wax at the tips of some of its secondary flight feathers. It does not breed in the UK but they are occasional winter visitors when food in their usual Northern Europe and sub-Arctic runs out.
They are very gregarious birds, flocking together in small parties to feed on the berries of shrubs such as dog rose, guilder rose, holly, hawthorn and rowan. Waxwings will also venture into parks and gardens when food in the countryside becomes scares. They have been seen locally this winter.
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