Fairburn is quite lucky to have a wonderful variety of garden birds feasting on its bird feeders, and this week has been no different - I saw a nuthatch for the first time ever  and it’s such a lovely, streamline little bird. He seemed perfectly at home alongside robins, greenfinches, goldfinches, tree sparrows, chaffinches, great, blue and coal tits. Other visitors have seen a siskin, 2 willow tits, a lesser redpoll, a female reed bunting and a collard dove enjoying the Wildlife Garden. It’s during these colder months when birds and other wildlife benefit from the extra help of bird feed in gardens, they will be looking for suet and other fat rich nuts/grain to keep them warm. It also has the added bonus of providing a lovely view for us, whilst we do the washing up!

(Nuthatch, John Bridges RSPB-Images.com)

(Blue Tit, Chris Gomersil RSPB-Images.com)

On the both the Main Bay and the Village Bay was red head smew – once I saw this in the sightings book I absolutely had to ask around for advice, as I hadn’t the foggiest. It turns out, it’s rather exciting; a redhead smew is either a female or juvenile smew, which means there is a chance of a male smew turning up, a prospect which most bird enthusiasts here seem quite pleased about, so watch this space.

(Redhead Smew, Ben Hall RSPB-Images.com)

There were 2 peregrins seen over Lin Dike Hide and also the barn owl has been seen swooping about Fairburn. 4 waxwing have also been seen opposite Cut Lane but were quick to move on and no one has been lucky enough to see them since.

(Waxwing, Andy Hay RSPB-Images.com)

Along the Riverbank Trail and behind Bob Dicken’s hide were fieldfare, 30+ redwings and a mistlethrush.

As the evenings draw in you can take a stroll along the Coal Tips Trail and see for yourself the starling mumuration of 2000+ birds – it’s a natural spectacle that’s not to be missed. It will take your breath away and it won’t just be because of the cold. 

(Starlings, Colin Wilkinson RSPB-Images.com)

This weekend is Binocular and Telescope Hands on Weekend in our Visitor Centre. Our lovely team of staff and volunteers are waiting to give you expert advice to help you choose the right bins or scope for you - give it a go and see what you can spot :)

(Eleanor Bentall RSPB-images.com)