Robin on Bird Table

Getting Ready For The Big Garden Bird Watch

January brings an array of exciting and interesting birds to look forward to and enjoy in your very own garden. Perfect timing with The RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch on 27-29 January.

With the cold weather, you wouldn’t think you would see much wildlife in your garden, however, gardens can prove to be an ideal meal ticket for birds this time of year, in frosty and snowy weather. This is the time birds become more adventurous, venturing into gardens for little scraps of food, full to the brim feeders and bird tables. Smaller birds find food to survive from garden bird tables, feeders and possibly little scraps of food.

Bird Ecology
As many species have migrated for the winter, you might even be so lucky to welcome new arrivals such as flocks of Fieldfares and Redwings into countryside gardens, mainly feeding on berries and fruit for the winter.  
Keep a look out for birds such as robins, sparrows, blackbirds and woodpeckers in your garden! Post us your pictures or even let us know what’s been visiting your garden, we’d be delighted to hear from you!

Bird Seed Mixtures

The better bird seed mixtures contain flaked maize, sunflower seeds, and peanut granules, attracting birds such as Tits and Greenfinches. Birdseed Mixes that contain chunks and nuts are perfect for this time of year, only being suitable for winter feeding only.

Black Sunflower Seeds

Black sunflower seeds are a very popular treat for birds and are excellent to put out in the garden throughout the whole year.

Bird Ecology

Nyjer Seeds

Small, black seeds high in oil content; Nyjer Seeds are considered to be favoured by Goldfinches.


Peanuts are very popular with tits, house sparrows, great spotted woodpeckers, siskins and nuthatches. Crushed or grated nuts attract birds such as robins, dunnocks and wrens. Peanuts can be high in a natural toxin (which can kill birds), so be very wary and buy from a reputable dealer to guarantee freedom from aflatoxin.

Fat Balls and Fat-Based Food Bars

Fat balls and other fat-based food bars are ideal winter food. If they are contained in nylon mesh bags, always remove the bag for the soft mesh can injure and trap birds.

Rice & Cereal

Cooked brown or white rice, with no extra additives, is accepted by all birds during severe winter weather. As well as uncooked porridge oats and any breakfast cereal.

Look Out For These Birds In Your Garden!

Why Don’t You Have A Go At Feeding The Birds Yourself With This Quick And Easy Bird Cake Recipe?

  • You can make your own bird cake by pouring melted fat (suet or lard) onto a mixture of ingredients such as seeds, nuts, dried fruit, oatmeal, cheese and cake.
  • Use about one-third fat to two-thirds mixture.
  • Stir well in a bowl and allow it to set in a container of your choice.
  • An empty coconut shell, plastic cup or tit bell makes an ideal bird cake ‘feeder’.
  • Alternatively, you can turn it out onto your bird table when solid.

Useful Links: 

For more information about the Ecology Services, we can offer, call us on 029 2065 0331, contact us on or click here for examples of our work.

Remember that it is still possible to undertake a range of ecology surveys during the winter months. Click here to find out more or check out our survey calendar to see when you can start planning your surveys this year.

Why not attend one of our ecology courses?