AS NIGHTS become colder, birds and other wildlife can be seen preparing for winter.

Wildlife charity the RSPB says most of our summer visitors, such as the warblers and swallows, have left to begin their migration south.

Yet their place will soon be taken by winter thrushes from the north that come to eat the berries left in our hedgerows.

Members of the tit family, like the coal tit, start to flock together and other species become quieter and no longer fight over territories and need warm roosts in the evening.

The RSPB is calling on the residents of Hampshire to consider the wildlife that may come to rely on our gardens for food and shelter.

Samantha Stokes, a spokeswoman for RSPB South East, said: “Although this is a time when gardeners traditionally start to clear up. If you want to encourage and help wildlife, you could adopt a more natural approach.

“Leaving seed heads, especially on plants such as teasels, thistles and sunflowers, and allowing vegetation to die back naturally, provides food and shelter for wildlife through the colder months. Don’t panic – a wildlife-friendly garden doesn't have to be wild and overgrown.”

For more advice about what to do in the garden and when, visit the RSPB’s Homes for Wildlife website