But for us in the UK this time of migration provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy some of the world’s most spectacular birds up close. The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, who welcome some of our finest feathered travellers, let us into their favourite wildlife sights to watch out for across the UK this autumn.
Teatime for the swans
Watch one of the world's graceful animals enjoy lunch from the heated observatory at Welney Wetland Centre. If you stay late enough you can also watch the nightly coming home ceremony of whooper swans as thousands of white wings swoop down to earth. Find details here.
The dawn chorus
They say the early bird catches the worm but in this case those early risers among you will get a much nicer treat than that when you pay an early morning visit to the hides of Martin Mere. Experience the dawn chorus of hundreds of birds and watch the sky turn pink as thousands of pink-footed geese fly overhead. Find details here.
From Russia with love
Some people will go any distance for a good meal and the Bewick’s swans are one of the best examples of this as hundreds of these winter birds fly all the way from arctic Russia to the UK. Watch the swans dig into English grub with live commentary from the wardens at Slimbridge. Find details here.
Get up close and personal
Get closer than anywhere else in Britain to thousands of barnacle geese and whooper swans at Caerlaverock and watch these incredible birds in action. Find details here.
Watch our Canadian friends
From arctic Canada to the shores of Strangford Lough, light belled Brent geese make one of the most perilous and fascinating journeys over autumn. Discover their amazing story here.
Find a guide in a hide
Bird lovers have some truly incredible stories to tell and they’re never happier than sharing them in a hide that provides a spy-hole to so many of nature’s spectacles. Drop into a ‘guide in a hide’ event at Llanelli and learn more about the sea teals, widgeons, pintails and oystercatchers you might see. If you’re really lucky a rare egret might even pop up. Find details here.
Arundel also holds similar guides in hides where you might see a flash of blue as a kingfisher whips past. Find more here.
Walk with a wildlife warden
Get moving and enjoy the sounds and sights of nature all around in a themed guided tour with a warden at Washington. You’ll also see over a thousand curlew roosting on Wader Lake! Find details here.
The fellow travellers
Birds aren’t the only jet-setters this autumn with bats, eels, butterflies and spiders all making travels in the coming months. London’s ‘Incredible Journey’ events lets you follow the journeys of creatures great and small. Find details here.
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