Five Ways to Wellbeing- Take Notice- January


 “January brings the snow, makes your feet and fingers glow” I think that is by Christina Rossetti.

The new year is upon us, 2015. What will it bring?

Words and pictures from:




This month look out for:

Bird flocks in wetlands and estuaries
Redwings, fieldfares and waxwings
Surprises at the garden bird table
Frogs returning to ponds
Thrushes, robins and great tits singing for territories

Christmas is over and the new year celebrations are now a mere hangover.  January and February are the core of winter, and Spring feels a long way off.  Days are short, but can be crisp and bright.

Early morning frosts leave pearls of ice on spiders webs making them useless for catching prey.  Lasts year’s leaves also get a frosting, and lawns are often silvered with ice.

Frosted bramble

frosted bramble leaves

Most plants have disappeared to their over wintering form (such as bulbs, runners and seeds or leafless above-ground branches), although one or two may be now tentatively poking through again.

The list of winter bird species is very different from the summer one, as many species have migrated southwards.  However geese, ducks and waders feed frenetically on coasts and wetlands are a special attraction at this time of year.  Fieldfares and redwings move in flocks through the countryside, whilst many smaller birds come to garden bird tables to find enough food to survive.

Trees stand starkly in fields and woodlands in winter with buds poised to burst when spring at last arrives.  They have a particular beauty in their bare form.  Although it is perhaps more difficult to identify trees without their leaves it is worth the effort.  One way to cheat is to look for fallen leaves below a tree and see if it is possible to identify it that way.  However if you look carefully many species, particularly oak, ash and silver birch for instance, have a very specific shape, bark texture and twig\bud form.  Any good tree guide should point out what features to look out for.

Ash tree in mist

a winter tree (ash) in the mist

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