Sunday, 28 January 2018

Big Garden Birdwatch.

This weekend it's the RSPB's (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) annual Big Garden Birdwatch: you sign up and watch the birds in your garden for an hour and make a note of the maximum number of each species you see at any one time. This is my second year of doing it with my mother, and we would have done it yesterday but there was only one bird in the garden when we was watching: the dreaded sparrowhawk. Today, happily, the sparrowhawk was elsewhere and we managed to sit and count the birds that came down. We saw fourteen species in total (one up from last year) - here's what we saw this year and, for comparison, last year:

Species
2017
2018
Chaffinches
31
44
Coal Tits
2
3
Robins
2
5
Siskins
0
24
Goldfiches
0
1
Sparrows
3
2
Woodpeckers
2
2
Blackbirds
2
1
Wrens
1
1
Blue Tits
6
8
Wood Pigeons
8
6
Collared Doves
6
6
Long-Tailed Tits
3
1
Nuthatches 
1
1

The big increase is the Siskins: I do remember one day seeing a few and wondering what they were, and then noticing, months later, there were loads of them (I did think we'd had the siskins longer but apparently not!). And the robins - that was exciting! Five is the most I've seen in one go: there were two on the tree, one on the bottom part of the fence, one on the top part of the fence, and one on the shed! As for the doves and pigeons: I would say I've seen even more in one go during the warmer months, and I'm sure we have at least two goldfinches but only one showed up today. And, as with last year, the jay, the heron, and the buzzards weren't around. Finally - look at that increase in the chaffinches! They are lovely little birds so that's very good news! I am worried about the blackbirds, though, but I am hopeful that today's bad weather put them off a bit and there are as many as last year but they're simply in hiding.

Now, the pictures! I didn't take many at all because I was too busy trying to count all the chaffinches, but I do have a few. Most of these are blurred because I was trying to hide!

The chaffinches and siskins watching as I put their food out.

More siskins arrive as I put out the seed.


Siskins waiting for their food.


A rather wet looking chaffinch comes down.


The siskins fly down to join him.

Chaffinches on the feeder.

Coal tit (I'd tested the zoom beyond endurance there, I'm afraid!).

Two chaffinches eating their favourite food: sunflower hearts.

More chaffinches arrive.

And that's that for this year, at least once I've submitted my results! If you're on Twitter the hashtag is #BigGardenBirdwatch and the pictures are far better than mine!

2 comments:

  1. Mrs. M and i feed the birds: we get lots of jays and robins and a host of very small variegated species of which we're not sure what they are... our biggest thrill is very rarely spotting a quite large pileated woodpecker(with a solid red head) flying through or pounding on one of the doug firs. lovely pictures, tx...

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    1. I love jays and robins - you must get the American robins? Our European robins are smaller and rounder I think, very sweet :) And the woodpecker, I should have said, is a greater spotted woodpecker. It's always exciting to see the woodpecker! And the jay for that matter, but we don't tend to see him in the winter, seems to be around more in the warmer months :)

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