Something to watch out for

The Redwing: After some berries.

The Redwing: After some berries.

Alan Cleaver enjoys the latest book by Cumbria’s favourite curmudgeon, Eric Robson

The mild and wet winters of Britain, along with our numerous estuaries full of food, create a brilliant winter haven for birds escaping the cold of the Arctic or northern Europe. Autumn berries are also big draw for flocks of thrushes which arrive to feast on our abundant harvest.

And now Cumbria Wildlife Trust has published a free guide to Great Places to see Winter Migrating Birds in Cumbria. It recommends great lakes, towns and areas of the coast to spot amazing migrating birds.

For example, you can look out for Redwings at Cogra Moss, near Lamplugh; visit Bassenthwaite Lake to see Goldeneye or head to Workington Harbour to spot Purple Sandpipers.

David Harpley, Conservation Manager for Cumbria Wildlife Trust said:

“We tend to think of autumn and winter as a time of retreat for nature but when winter migrating birds arrive they can often provide an amazing spectacle and you don’t have to be a dedicated birdwatcher to enjoy the show. A cold winter in northern Europe could cause thousands of waxwings to arrive on our shores. They tend to move in flocks, arriving in places like supermarkets to strip bushes bare of berries. Flocks of starlings are often seen in murmurations, a beautiful dance done at dusk before the birds roost, in our towns and cities. Although you don’t have to go far to see some of these birds, it’s still well worth visiting the places in our new guide.”

Great Places to Winter Migrating Birds in Cumbria, is available at