January with Durham Wildlife Trust

January is often the month to bring snow, yet December unwrapped its icy white glow.

The bare trees were decorated with snowflakes and, whilst most of nature was in a deep wintry sleep, we could see from the fresh footprints there was wildlife out there to meet.

Whilst winter still holds many in its grip, January will see the first signs of spring appear. As snowdrops peep their sleepy heads through icy soil, new life will begin to stir. A closer look on the trees reveals that buds are waiting to burst.

Those that are out have nowhere to hide as they spend each hour of daylight searching for food against an icy backdrop.

Ducks, geese and swans will continue to bob their heads out of their wintering wetland homes whilst fieldfares and redwings will move in flocks through the countryside. Look out for the winter visiting waxwings tucking into berries.

As breeding season moves closer, more bird song will begin to fill the air. It’s the easiest time to learn bird song, before the chorus grows in spring.

As the new year begins, there’s nothing as refreshing as a walk under the crisp and clear blue sky on a January day to wash the excess of Christmas away. It’s also a great month to look ahead and follow wildlife’s tracks and trails.

To help you on your path to a wilder new year we have a programme of events for you to enjoy and if you didn’t get that gift of wildlife for Christmas, and aren’t yet a member of DWT, why not treat yourself to a subscription?

On Saturday 6th, our Guide in the Hide will be at Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve. Guides will be on hand to point out the different species on the pond. We will be keeping an eye out for curlew, snipe, golden plover, black tailed godwits and various wintering wildfowl such as wigeon, shovelers and teals. Guides will also be back at the hide on Sunday 21st.

Our weekly Craft Hour returns at Rainton Meadows from Wednesday 10th, mostly chatting and a little bit of knitting, the group work on wildlife themed projects.

Embracing the new year and connecting the mind, body and spirit to the natural world is our Wild Yoga, returning on Tuesday 16th for their weekly sessions.

On Saturday 27th, join us for our Members Winter Ramble at Low Barns Nature Reserve. Our ranger will lead you on a circular walk of the reserve, showcasing the various habitats and wildlife.

We end the month at Washington Old Hall with Washington Wildlife Group on Wednesday 31st, who will be joined by a guest speaker from ERIC North East who work with wildlife recording groups, organisations and individuals to collate, manage and improve access to the biological records of the region.

We hope you all enjoy a wild start to the year. Please share your January pictures with us on Twitter @durhamwildlife and Facebook and keep checking on our website too for new events: http://durhamwt.com/events/.