What Birds to Spot in Your Garden at Different Times of the Year

Scott TaylorNovember 09, 2021
This is the complete guide to spotting birds in your garden at different times of the year. It covers:

  • What Garden Birds to Spot in Autumn and Winter
  • What Garden Birds to Spot in Spring and Summer
  • What is the Best Bird Feed for Each Season of the Year
So, if you want your garden to be overflowing with a rich abundance of beautiful British birds throughout the year, then this is the guide for you. Let’s get started.

What Garden Birds to Spot in Autumn and Winter

The variety of birds you see during winter will be driven primarily by the weather. Milder conditions will likely result in a smaller number of birds, while colder weather will generate more birds as species go out of their way to find food. Common garden visitors during the winter and autumn season will include:

image showing common autumn and winter birds
  • Starling
  • House Sparrow
  • Pied Wagtail
  • Robin
  • Wren
  • Blackcap
  • Grey Wagtail
  • Blue Tit
  • Mistle Thrush
  • Wood Pigeon
  • Long-Tailed Tit
  • Jackdaws
  • Siskin
  • Brambling
  • Blackbird
  • Songthrush
Many are permanent residents that you’ll find throughout the year, such as the House Sparrow, Blue Tit and Siskin. However, migratory birds such as the Brambling will become frequent garden visitors as they seek out warmer climates. Now, if the weather does take a turn for the worse and the temperatures start to drop below freezing, then you may also spot a rarer selection of birds visiting your feeders. These include:

  • Woodcock
  • Snipe
  • Chiffchaff
  • Goldcrest
  • Firecrest
  • Bullfinch
  • Redwing
  • Fieldfare
  • Nuthatch
  • Black redstart
  • Waxwing
  • Coal Tit
  • Warbler
  • Lesser Redpoll
These birds are well adapted to surviving a cold snap in the wild. However, species such as the Nuthatch will occasionally visit gardens for a nutty sustenance, while Coal Tits and Goldcrest will occasionally pop by to gobble up a worm or two. Keep your eyes peeled as these birds will not grace your garden for long! What Birds to Spot in Your Garden in Spring and Summer As spring time arrives, our gardens begin to transform with life. Earlier sunrises and warmer temperatures blossom a chorus of birdsong and you can look forward to spotting an array of birds in your garden. Typical species you look forward to attracting with the arrival of warm weather include:

  • Blackbird
  • Robin
  • Blue Tit
  • Wren
  • House Martin
  • Great Tit
  • Dunnock
  • Siskin
  • Long Tailed Tit
  • Collared Dove
  • Goldfinch
  • Chaffinch
  • Green Finch
  • Wood Pigeon
Many of these birds are permanent UK residents gracing our gardens all year round. However, these birds will be a lot more vocal and active during the spring and summer months as they prepare their nests and search for a mate. Now, if you’re lucky or you live in a remote location, you might be able to attract rarer species of birds to your garden in Spring and Summer. Occasional garden visitors you should keep an eye out for include:

  • Green Woodpecker
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker
  • Jays
  • Bullfinch
  • Swallow
  • Swift
  • Common Nightingale
Swallows and Swifts are a rare sight in gardens, but will be easily spotted on countryside walks. Green Woodpeckers and Bullfinch are two ground feeding birds which may be attracted if competition for territory is high in your area. Nightingales are quite an elusive bird, so if you do find one in your garden, make sure to capture a picture to share with friends.

What is the Best Bird Feed for Each Season of the Year

The best feed for attracting garden birds can be a bit of a controversial topic. What works one person will undoubtedly fail for another, so we ask you to take this list as a general guide rather than definitive fact. So, the best feeds for feeding in spring, summer, autumn and winter are:

Autumn and Winter

In autumn and winter birds need lots of high fat foods packed with calories to help them battle the cold weather. Naturally, we’d lean towards feeding your birds:

Peanuts/Monkey Nuts

Nuts are packed with naturally fatty oils which are rich in calories and nutrients. Peanuts and monkey nuts are an ideal source of energy and will attract a whole variety of birds to your garden including Wrens, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Woodpeckers, Jays, Doves and Crows. Remember to keep your feeders well clear of trees and bushes to avoid sneaky squirrels stealing your stocks.

Sunflower Hearts

Another great winter feed is Sunflower hearts. These high energy, protein-packed seeds are like the burger of the bird world (everybody loves them!) and will have a whole host of birds flocking to your garden during the winter season. Birds you are likely to attract feeding sunflower hearts include Finches, Sparrows, Nuthatches and Tits.

Fat Balls

Another bird favourite during the winter season is Fat Balls. These balls are made out of a mixture of high-fat suet and a variety of seeds. They make the perfect winter treat for birds as they’re jam packed with oils that are ideal for the bitterly cold season. Fat Balls are suitable for attracting Robins, Wrens, Tits, Blackbirds and Song Thrushes.

Mealworms/Calci Worms

When the temperature really starts to drop, we’d also advise stocking up your feeders with a selection of mealworms and calci worms. This is because the cold weather will freeze the surface of your garden soil making it extremely difficult for insectivorous birds like the Robin to hunt for worms. Help your feathered friends by buying 2kg to 5kg to see them through the winter season.

Spring and Summer

Where winter is all about fatty seeds with a high calorific content, spring and summer is all about protein. This is due to two factors. Firstly, spring marks fledgling season, so birds will need lots of protein for their young. And second, birds will also go through the moulting season, so birds will need lots of protein packed seeds to help them regrow shiny new feathers. We’d recommend:

No Mess Wild Bird Seed Mix

You can’t really go wrong with a good quality No Mess Wild Bird Seed Mix. These mixes will be slightly better quality seeds than your standard Wild Bird Seed Mixes and will come with a variety of seeds that will attract a whole host of birds to your garden.

Sunflower Hearts

Sunflower hearts are an ideal seed for both the winter and spring/summer seasons. They’re packed with both fatty oils and the crucial proteins your garden birds will need to thrive. We’d suggest mixing in a handful or two with your No Mess Wild Bird Seed Mix to offer your birds an extra protein treat.


The spring and summer season will see a variety of insectivorous birds out on the hunt for worms. We’d recommend stocking up on a selection of mealworms to attract birds like the Robin, Blackbirds and Long-Tailed Tit.