Migrant birds to watch for
The end of summer and autumn are the best times for spotting migrant birds in gardens. Populations are now at their peak after the breeding season, and birds need to build up reserves in readiness for their long flights ahead. For their brief autumn vacation, they’re all looking for a sunny, sheltered woodland glade with lots of bushes, berries and insects, which is the perfect description of many gardens! Here are some species to look out for...
As well as blackcaps, the commonest warblers to visit gardens are chiffchaffs and small, plain willow warblers, which are olive above and yellowy beneath. There’s also a chance of whitethroats and garden warblers.
Spotted flycatchers used to be familiar breeding birds in gardens, but are sadly in decline. Sitting on bare twigs high on the outside of a tree, they dart out to catch flies, then return to their vantage point.
Having bred in western and northern oakwoods, this robinshaped bird with a flickering red tail and buffy chest visits trees and bushes in some larger gardens, where it dashes to the ground to catch creepy-crawlies.
Blackcap Chiffchaff Willow warbler Spotted flycatcher Redstart