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Whether you have noticed or not, they surround you.  From waking you up in the morning with a song, following you around your garden, or dancing outside your window, we’re surrounded by birds, in all shape and sizes.  In your garden you’ll often see the small, cute and colourful ones, such as the Robin, Blue Tit, and the Wagtail.  As well as the larger more mischievous ones such as the Woodpecker or the Black Bird from the Thrushes family.  I often sit and watch the birds from my kitchen window accompanied by one of my cats, we’re both bird enthusiasts.

February, 14th-21st is National Nest Box Week.  You can find lots of information about making your garden a great environment for all the birds that visit.  Information on which birds use which boxes and the importance of each box design.  A buyer guide to make sure you’re getting the right box or instructions on how to build and maintain your own bird box.

Here’s a couple of garden regulars that you can start with…


This little bird has a tell-tale signature red face and chest which makes it easy to identify.  Their singing can be heard all year round in a series of short, high warbling phrases.  Robins will generally nest no higher than 2 meters off the ground, hidden away from threats and predators.  Robins normally breed twice a year, but a third brood is not unusual.  You will start to see the female robin collecting bedding such as moss and grass in late February, early March.

Blue Tit

The Blue Tit will be another regular to your garden, identified by its wonderful colourings.  A colourful bird with its white face, blue cap and blue dashed wings, and a bright yellow chest.  Their singing is high pitch followed by a long trill.  Blue Tit’s like to nest high where it’s quiet and with a good view of oncoming threats.  Blue Tit’s only breed once a year.  You will start to see the female collecting bedding such as moss and grass in late March, early April.

During these colder months it’s very important to make sure you keep your garden bird feeders topped up, and if possible, somewhere for them to find shade from the harsh weather.  Visit the Nest Box Week website to see what you can do to encourage more birds to visit your garden and how you can keep them returning.

Here at the Lovat, we’ll have our new bird boxes and feeders up in the next coming weeks.  Andy our resident gardener will position them around the hotel garden to maximise there use.  When you stay with us, make sure to walk the grounds and see which birds you can spot.

The Lovat Loch Ness, the perfect place to…bird watch.

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Post by Dan Mitchell

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