October sees Robins lay claim to their winter feeding territories. Coal tits return to many gardens where they grab food and then hide it somewhere for later. Large flocks of Starlings gather at dusk to roost through the night, and then disperse to suburbs during the day to feed. Winter thrushes, like Redwings, start to arrive.
This is the best month to empty your nest boxes because birds have finished breeding and there are unlikely to be any wasps inside the nest boxes. After emptying, wash out with boiling water (taking care not to scald yourself) or mild disinfectant. Remember, it is illegal to keep any eggs that you may find.
This is a good time to clean your feeders and bird baths and start providing food and water for the birds. Each day, small birds, like Blue Tits, have to eat up to a third of their own body weight in food to survive the cold weather. Your help may make all the difference.