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Bird visitors to the UK

Summer visitors

Summer visitors fly to the UK from further south; mostly from the Mediterranean and Africa. During the summer there is more food here and more daylight hours in which to search for it. In the autumn our days get shorter and they return south to their wintering grounds.

 

Winter visitors

Winter visitors leave northern Europe and the Arctic to escape freezing temperatures and shortening hours of daylight. The days here are longer, the weather is milder and food is easier to find. In spring, they fly back to their breeding grounds further north. As summer arrives in the Arctic the snow melts and there is a huge flush of insects. Birds travel there from all over the world to exploit the abundance of food and the long hours of daylight. The Essex coast is special for these overwintering birds.