Autumn Rainbow in the Aire Valley- Green


We hope this blog finds you all safe and well, and enjoying what nature has to offer during this second lockdown.


As we turn to look at the gorgeous greens present in the Aire Valley at this time of year, it reminds us just how much the previous colours red, orange and yellow hold sway in Autumn. But there’s still some great greens to be seen!


Read on to find out more… 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   (greenfinch- Ben Andrew)

The greenfinch (pictured right) is a no-brainer when you’re looking at Aire Valley greens. We’re lucky at both sites to have greenfinch visiting our feeders almost daily.

Although we see them regularly on site, according to the RSPB website greenfinches have experienced “a recent decline in numbers… linked to an outbreak of trichomonosis, a parasite-induced disease which prevents the birds from feeding properly.”

But you can help by cleaning your bird feeders and tables regularly and enjoying these beautiful birds in your gardens and green spaces.

 (green woodpecker- Alan Coe)


Another must-have for greens in nature is the green woodpecker.

Fairburn Ings is especially good for spotting these beautiful birds with their distinctive ‘yaffle’ often heard near the Roy Taylor Trail and riverside walks.

The green woodpecker is the largest of the three woodpecker species we have breeding here in the UK, and if you need cheering up a dull Wednesday do a quick internet search for ’green woodpecker tongue’- pretty crazy right!

They use these amazing tongues to catch ants, which are their main source of food. Yummy.

                                                                                                                                                               (song thrush- Ben Andrew)


A green that we might not give a second thought to is grass.

This may seem like a pretty boring and obvious addition to our list but during wet weather- which we’ve had lots of- birds including kestrels, buzzards and smaller birds such as song thrushes (pictured right), will use grassy areas to stock up their energy levels with worms.

This is an important extra supply of food for wildlife during harder times, so be sure to look twice at your gardens and grassy green spaces after rain.


 (Lapwing- Graham Goodall)

The lapwing (pictured left) deserves a mention during Autumn too.

Lapwing are one of the success stories of the Aire Valley so far with the Ridge and furrow (our wet grassland) at St Aidan’s offering safe breeding habitat for these lovely birds.

They might not seem like the flashiest birds but if you take a close look you’ll be amazed by the beautiful greens of their feathers.

During Autumn they flock together, often hiding other birds such as golden plover in amongst them- making them well worth a closer look if you see them whilst out and about.


                                                                                                                                                                 (pond- Eleanor Bentall)

Finally, a bit of a cheat, but an important green nonetheless is green fingers.

Looking out for our wildlife goes beyond our RSPB sites, and your gardens and outdoors spaces are fantastic havens for wildlife all year round- and Autumn is no exception.

Autumn is a great time of year to build that pond you’ve been meaning to put in all year, or even do something as simple as raking the leaves in your garden and leaving them in a pile for a hedgehog to use as a cosy hideaway.

For more information and inspiration check out our Wild Challenge page here. These small actions make big differences to our wildlife, so get out there and do something to make your garden ‘green’ this Autumn.

Thanks for reading, be sure to check out our social media pages for the most up-to-date information on our opening times and facilities.                                                                                                                                                                                           

Take care,