So the Winter Issue of Nature's Home magazine has just landed on our desks, and is about to wing its way to you. It’s always a super-exciting moment when Nature’s Home returns from the printer’s. We're feeling proud to see all our hard work - and the stories that you help support - brought to life. 

RSPB Nature's Home magazine, Winter 2018 issue, focuses on bird migration into the UK during winter.


As you will see from the cover, your winter issue focuses on migrant birds from the Arctic. You’ll begin to see many of these species arriving this month, taking advantage of our comparatively mild winters. We hope that this issue will help you make the most of their seasonal spectacle.  

Large and small, they come from Greenland, Iceland; from Scandinavia, Poland, and even Siberia and Canada. We enjoy the arrival of these flocks as they bring winter on their wings. But we may not think about what they’ve gone through to go get here. There are vast distances involved, and inclement weather. 

In our lead feature, the RSPB’s Jamie Wyver reveals the journey taken along the East Atlantic Flyway - the sky road that different species follow to get here. 

Our flyway map on p30 tells you stories of boom and bust, of furtive night flights and unfathomable distances flown on tiny wings - and of the support they get from the RSPB and its partners along the way.  

When they get here, the birds spread out - but many head straight for RSPB reserves, which are specially prepared to provide the birds with everything they need. 

Welcoming winter migrants involves year-round reserve management.

Did you know that grass has to be grown and then cut to exactly the right length? Or that ditches must be cleared from reeds in summer so that winter waders can forage in them when they arrive? 

A lot of hard work goes into providing exactly what’s needed by different species at different types of year. You can find out all about it in Kate Blincoe’s “Welcoming Winter Arrivals” feature. 

Meanwhile, Ben Macdonald’s feature “The Science of Migration” reveals what the RSPB’s work has learned about the habits and needs of our winter migrants. From capturing their calls as they pass overhead at night (“nocmigging”) to discovering that our garden blackcaps were born in Germany, you’re bound to learn something new about our winter migrants. 

Our featured reserve, Wallasea Island, is now complete. It’s an ambitious landscaping project, creating a coastal reserve from scratch out of unwanted excavated soil - and it’s already welcoming winter migrants. Find out how it was built and designed on p68. 

You are bound to find some tips for your own garden in our wildlife gardening section, where Adrian Thomas lists some of the key jobs to be done this winter to help your local wildlife. 

Our columnists are enjoying the changing seasons, too. For Simon Barnes, migrant birds are the harbingers of winter, while David Lindo helps you track them down in towns and cities

And as usual our Wild About section is packed full of things to do, with RSPB events, winter wildlife to watch. You can learn how trees disperse their seeds far afield, solve the mystery of where insects disappear to and find out why geese fly in a V formation. 

We always learn something when we put each issue together, and we hope that you do, too. We’d love to know what you think. 

Log in to comment below or email us here and tell us about your favourite articles in your winter issue.