Bird life in the garden

A close up of a kingfisher flying across the river

Over seventy different species of birds have been spotted at The Weir Garden, find out what to see and when.

We are fortunate to have conservation volunteers at The Weir who conduct bi-annual bird watches in the garden, one in summer and one in winter. We also rely on visitors to report any unusual sightings during their visit; our bird hide has proven to be a very handy tool for watching birdlife in the garden over the past year.

Waterfowl on the river is pretty consistent throughout the seasons; you can spot mute swans, mallards and Canadian geese year round. Keep your eyes peeled during the summer months for more unusual varieties such as little egrets, oyster catchers and black swans. During the winter months we sometimes get passing Mandarin ducks. A firm favourite with visitors is the kingfisher which can be spotted throughout spring, summer and autumn, darting up and down the Wye with a brilliant flash of blue.

A chaffinch on a warm summer's day
A chaffinch in summer plumage
A chaffinch on a warm summer's day

The garden is abundant with various finches throughout the year; look out for bullfinch, goldfinch, chaffinch and greenfinch. Accompanying these lovely little birds are linnets, warblers and siskins during the summer months. The usual winter migratory birds can be spotted in the garden during the colder months; robins, song thrush and red wing are attracted to the berries on the hedges and look picture-perfect in their stunning winter plumage. We get woodpeckers visiting and nesting in spring time; great spotter, lesser spotted and green woodpeckers have all been recorded here over the past year.

Throughout the summer months the sand martins return, building nests on the Wye’s sandy banks. You can also see swifts, swallows and house martins, when in flight these birds can be quite difficult to distinguish apart; a good rule to go by is swallows are always the largest out of the group with streamlined forks in their tails.

This is just a small insight into the bird life at The Weir. Of course you cannot guarantee what you’re going to see on the day but that’s all part of the fun of birdwatching.

A fledgling in the garden
A young bird sits on a branch
A fledgling in the garden