ALSO LOOK OUT FOR…
Stake out the feeders at Scotland’s Loch of the Lowes (Scottish Wildlife Trust) and Abernethy (RSPB) reserves for fantastic views ws of red squirrels. Both locations also have ve webcams trained d on the feeders. Wardens top them up throughout the winter – you might ht spot crested and coal tits too.
ROADSIDE SPECTACLE ECTACLE
In winter the hedges and scrub beside motorways and railway lines often seem to have been smothered in foam, rather like the offwhite scum whipped up by a river. This is the feathery seedheads of traveller’s joy, also known as old man’s beard – our native species of clematis.
Gorse is famous for flowering in every month of the year, adding a welcome splash of midwinter colour to bleak heaths and hillsides. With searching, you can also find a surprising number of other wildflowers in December, and the ‘New Year Plant Hunt’ has become something of a tradition. Take part at www.bsbi.org/ new-year-plant-hunt
The red admiral enjoyed its best-ever year in the Big Butterfly Count this summer, being the second most frequently seen species. It doesn’t hibernate, instead merely roosts, so you have every chance of seeing it stir into life on a warm December day. Visit www. bigbutter flycount.org rg