Monday, 26 January 2009

Big Garden Birdwatch

I took part in the RSPB's annual Big Garden Birdwatch yesterday. The idea is that you watch a garden (or part of your local park, perhaps) for an hour, recording all the species seen, plus the maximum numbers of each at any one time. Because you can't actually see any of my small garden from the house, I did it at my parents' house.

Nothing out of the ordinary, but numbers were up on last year, and it's nice to see a House Sparrow back. I recorded:

Dunnock (2)
Carrion Crow
Blue Tit (3)
Coal Tit
Magpie (2)
House Sparrow
Great Tit

Unfortunately you can't count species that merely fly over, or I could have added Buzzard, Woodpigeon and Herring Gull.

UPDATE: Three more BGBW accounts at Katie Fuller's RSPB blog, my colleague Mike Weedon's blog, and at Caroline at Coastcard. Katie's post reminded me of a couple of things; firstly, that Greenfinches seem to be increasingly scarce in my part of the world, and secondly, that you can guarantee that as soon as the hour is up, all manner of birds will appear. In my case, a Robin, several more Starlings and more Blackbirds, plus a Woodpigeon or two. And I'm envious of Caroline - I looked for Lesser Redpolls on Saturday, with no luck, although I did find a few Siskin.


Coastcard said...

On the redpoll front, we had a 'tip off' from the RSPB rep. - who pointed us in the direction of low scrubby grass.

Alison said...

I think some birds cheat during Birdwatch. Two robins turned up. I haven't seen two robins since the last nesting season. Are some species media-savvy?

We only had one greenfinch. There used to be a very big flock around, but there was a greenfinch illness noted in the Gloucestershire press(dead birds found in gardens, 2006) and now numbers seem low again.

Frances said...

I'd love to know more about birds. I like looking at them. Am always trying to feed them but they are too afraid of our cat to come near the house. Sadly I can't tell one from another. Except of course dear old Robin.

Matt Merritt said...

Yes, Greenfinches seem to be struggling badly. Goldfinches, on the other hand, are thriving round here like never before.

I'm not at work today, because of the snow, but a colleague just emailed to tell me there's a Robin in the building. I'll post some photos if they get them.