Spot them before they go
SHORTENING DAYS MARK SUMMER’S END – a time when millions of birds prepare for long-haul travel to their winter homes. In the past, unable to account for this ‘disappearance’, people believed that birds hibernated or retreated underground or even underwater. With the invention of satellite tracking, we now know the routes they navigate: thousands of miles across oceans and deserts. Watch out for osprey (Pandion haliaetus) fishing in lakes in Scotland, Wales and the far north of England, before they start their epic journey to Africa across the Sahara. With binoculars to hand, hunker down in a hide or head to the coast for a chance to see Scandinavian travellers such as flycatchers (Muscicapidae), warblers (Parulidae) and maybe even a wryneck (Jynx torquilla). Spots include Gibraltar Point in Lincolnshire, as well as The Naze and Gunners Park in Essex. To find out more, visit wildlifetrusts.org/lovewildlife.