Charlecote's winter wildlife

Kingfisher on branch by river Avon at Charlecote Park in Warwickshire

Any time of year - and every type of weather - is perfect for spotting wildlife at Charlecote. Birds, bugs and animals all find their ideal habitats in our carefully maintained ancient landscape. You're bound to see something interesting when you visit.

Your visit, and every penny that you spend at Charlecote, directly helps us to look after this precious ecosystem. We carefully balance the needs of the flora and fauna that choose to live here, as they have done for centuries in this beautiful landscape.

Now that the leaves have fallen, Charlecote's parkland is the perfect place for a birdwatching expedition. The deer roam freely and cheeky squirrels are scavenging for food all around. There's plenty of food for the squirrels in the parkland but they do like the easy option of raiding our birdfeeders in the spinney.

We recommend sturdy boots or wellies for a winter walk in the parkland.

Love them or hate them, the squirrels are always entertaining
Grey squirrel in parkland at Charlecote in winter spring

The bats are tucked away in our ancient trees, and insects have found crevices in tree bark and in the old buildings ready for spring.

Cold weather brings beauty to the parkland in unexpected ways.

The spiders are busy even on a frosty morning
Frosty spider webs in winter at Charlecote Park

On a warmish day though you may spot a drowsy bumble bee or a ladybird among the winter-flowering shrubs in the garden. It always cheers us up to feel that spring isn't too far away.

Pop into the spinney and watch the birds on the feeders from the shelter of our wildlife hide.

Our wildlife hide in the spinney is a great place to enjoy the birds
Nuthatch on feeder in spinney at Charlecote Park

Come birding

Stroll along the mown paths and beside the river, or take a seat on one of the benches around the parkland and pause for a therapeutic moment or two. Watch for the undulating flight of a woodpecker, or a flash of blue from a jay. 

This Little Egret is at home on the lake in the parkland
Little egret on lake at Charlecote Park

Winter migrants often call in to the lake - we've seen teal, wigeon, grey wagtails, white little egrets and a little grebe with its fluffy tail. Kingfishers are active on the rivers at the moment - wrap up warm and be patient. Do let us know what you see when you visit and send us your pictures on social media.

Rarely still, grey wagtails look for insects at the pond's edge in the spinney and along the riverbanks
Grey wagtail looks for insects at edge of pond at Charlecote Park in Warwickshire

Listen for woodpeckers drumming, often from January. You may hear the mewing of an overhead buzzard or the jagged laughing call of a green woodpecker. If lots of birds are twittering anxiously there may be a kestrel nearby.

We have one of the largest heronries in Warwickshire and you’ll see the herons swooping back to the treetops or standing statuesque at the river’s edge.

Look out for herons swooping in to the bare treetops
Heron swoops in to tops of bare trees in parkland at Charlecote

Keep your binoculars handy and you may see one of the hares that live in Camp Ground across the river from the parterre, particularly if the sunlight catches their tawny coat.

If you spot a hare you'll see that they are larger than rabbits, with sandy-coloured coats
Hare in Camp Ground at Charlecote Park