As well as our Wardens and volunteers from Wensum Valley Bird Watching Society reporting their sightings, regular visitors to Pensthorpe keep us up to date with what they have spotted.
What to look out for this December:
The Wigeon is a medium-sized duck that has different visible features dependent on their gender, season and age. Numbers increase here during the winter months as they visit from Iceland, Scandinavia and Russia. The Wader Scrape is the best place to spot wigeons at Pensthorpe.
Teals are known to show bright green wing patches in flight. They increase in number at Pensthorpe in winter, as they migrate here travelling from cold countries from the Baltic and Siberia. Again, their distinguishing features also depend upon their age, gender and the time of year. Teal are best seen from near our Wader Scrape hide.
Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) are one of the most common garden birds which can be seen all year round. Large numbers typically arrive at the park in autumn to stay throughout the winter. We have a small murmuration (about 400 to 500 birds) that can be seen from the Viewing Gallery.
Witches’ Brooms are a type of gall which look like bird nests; they are typically founded within Silver Birch trees and are caused by a fungal bacterial activity. Now the trees have lost their leaves the galls are visible throughout the reserve.
The Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) is a widespread breeding species throughout England, Wales and Scotland. Tawny Owls are nocturnal, therefore their call can be heard around the park as it gets darker.
The Robin, typically associated with Christmas, can be spotted all year round, however we have additional migrant Robins in the UK in winter (from Europe). They have a winter song which differs from the Spring/Summer one that can be heard most of the day, especially at dusk.