Strictly for the birds

When the worst of the UK’s winter weather hits, it’s important to look out for our feathered friends . . . and the best way is to provide lots of tasty food.

There are many different varieties of shop-stocked seed mixes to choose for garden feeders, bird tables and to spread on the ground.

Mixed seeds are perfect for house sparrows and chaffinches, while goldfinches can’t resist nyjer seeds.

Blackbirds, meanwhile, love old and over-ripe fruit left on the lawn.

Peanuts and sunflower seeds are favourites with blue tits and coal tits.

And remember: the greater variety of foods you put out, the more birds will come calling.

Top tip: hang feeders where there is clear visibility yet safe cover is within reach. That way you’ll be sure to attract more visitors.

Finally, don’t forget to provide fresh drinking water: a bird bath makes an ideal Christmas present and means your guests can bathe and drink.

But a simple dish or bowl will also do the job nicely.