Bird spotting at Studley Royal

Picture: James Hardisty
Picture: James Hardisty

January is not the dismal month that many expect and nature is waiting to prove it can be fun.

Staff at Fountains Abbey, near Ripon, are challenging families and young visitors to discover wildlife at the internationally important site.

“Winter may have taken hold of the estate but the birdlife is still thriving,” said a spokesman.

There are a few different types of bird to be seen on walks around the grounds.

Last year bird watchers were delighted by the arrival of Hawfinches around Fountains Hall.

The redwing, with a cream strip above its eyes with an orange-red patch over its flank, can be found across the winter countryside, in fields and hedgerows. These birds are on the RSPBs red list – a colour coded chart reflecting conservation priorities; red being of the highest importance.

And Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal gardens is also home to the Mistle Thrush.

Its underside is covered in large black spots, making it a distinctive bird to spot.

With white edges to the tail, it stands very tall and can be found singing at the top of a tree.

And after bird spotting, there is the playground.