We have many cottages within the UK, Ireland and France that can offer great birdwatching holidays for the dedicated enthusiast.
Some three million adults go birdwatching every year in the UK . People of all ages watch birds, it's an activity you can keep doing all your life, in any part of the world. The British list currently stands at 574 species.
There are many ways to appreciate birds, from the casual observer to the enthusiastic "twitcher". The main thing is that you enjoy yourself and have fun. There is always something new to learn or something different to see, no matter how many years you have been watching birds. Here are a list of some great places to do some birdwatching this Winter, and why not combine a visit with a stay at one of our cottages.
The mouth of the River Exe, and the cliffs of the Jurassic Coast east from here, shelter all kinds of our feathered friends. Elegant little egrets haunt the rivermouth year-round, and the beautiful goldfinch visits in Autumn.
Gigrin in Rhayader, Wales was just a humble sheep farm until 1992, when the RSPB approached the owner with a view to opening the place to the public as a red kite feeding station. Today it's the most famous red kite feeding spot in the UK.
This huge reservoir, just east of Oakham, Rutland's county town, opened in 1976 and is one of Europe's biggest artificial lakes. The trail circumnavigating it is 25 miles long, and much of the western part of the water, and surrounding woods, are a nature reserve. In August, the annual British Birdwatching Fair is held here.
Fairburn Ings is the perfect getaway, this brilliant nature reserve is truly a hidden gem, resting between Leeds, York and Wakefield. Here you will find ducks including smew, goosander and goldeneye.
Minsmere reserve in Suffolk is home to bitterns, marsh harriers and the widest range of breeding birds in the country. If you go in May you can enjoy the sound of nightingales in the woods and see the sand martin colony in the old car park. Binoculars are available for hire.