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winter birds in scotland

By November 27, 2020 No Comments

Scotland’s long and winding shoreline is largely undeveloped, providing vast and diverse habitats for shorebirds. There are also Greenland Whitefronts that winter on Islay, and a very small population of Bean Geese that winter in the central belt of Scotland, that I presume come from Northern Europe somewhere. This becomes even more difficult in hard weather when snow and ice hide once easily available natural food. We also have a good selection of native birds who are present all year round. Winter birding sites might not be that good in summer and vice-versa. Already the bird table has siskin and goldfinches, birds we have not seen since last March. Divers in winter can be confusing and difficult to identify. The greatest test for wild birds in winter is to find food and ensure they eat enough of it to build - and maintain - adequate fat supplies to store on the body and ‘burn’ for energy. So, this is the Winter edition. I am picking 4 areas, 1 from each of the north, east, south and west. Many of these travel here from other countries to spend the winter in our area. Let this video help you to confidently separate Red-throated, Black-throated and Great Northern Divers. Major estuaries like the Firth of Forth and Solway Firth are home to internationally important numbers of wintering waders such as the oystercatcher, knot, and bar-tailed godwit. As temperatures drop and frosts arrive, Scotland’s winter wildlife can be observed. Fortunately, Scotland is well set-up to cater to both these groups. Many people love to watch birds, whether those that visit their local area or those they see on holiday. Over 500 bird species have been recorded in Scotland. The Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere is home to a number of bird species over the winter months. Spring and autumn migrant traps like Spurn Point in East Yorkshire may not be as productive, bird-watching wise as the New Forest in summer. Of course not all birds follow these directions exactly, and stragglers from any of these populations could turn-up almost anywhere, but I think that gives a reasonable overall picture. Some take their birdwatching to a completely different level, even chartering planes in order to arrive in time to catch a glimpse of a seriously off-course rarity. Over 190 species breed here each year, a further 30 species winter here having bred further north, 42 are passage migrants and the …

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