Sunday, 31 January 2016

Big Garden Birdwatch weekend

It is that time of year again when we stand looking out of our bedroom window for an hour watching and counting all our garden visitors to take part in the RSPB's annual Big Garden Birdwatch
It has been a rubbish winter for garden birds this year, as far as our unusual winter visitors are concerned we have only seen one redpoll in our garden and no bramblings or siskins at all -  in fact the only birds we have seen in our garden this winter that have been different to our regular visitors have been one male bullfinch which paid us a brief visit one morning earlier on this month and a goldcrest that has flitted through our hawthorn hedge every day. But as we have discovered from previous years, birds are not predictable - we have had plenty of regular visitors give a no show for the hour and others make a first appearance, so how would this year fair?

this is the view from our bedroom window, as you can see we look down at our bird feeder in our back yard, most of the birds feeding on these fly off to the hedge to eat and shelter from the sparrowhawk that flies through two or three times a day, very rarely managing to pick a bird off the feeder, we were hoping that it might fly through today and rest on the utility roof for a while before heading off again, no such luck! Our feeders are filled with sunflower hearts and we also have a suet cake hanging from the feeder too, on the ground we have an old large casserole which is now a bird bath and have emptied some sunflower hears onto the ground too for this weekend only!  As we look out over fields too we include part of the field in our count - we often have jackdaws, pigeons and stock doves land in the field and the pigeons and stock doves also come into our yard clearing up the seeds the finches drop from the feeders. Occasionally we also see thrushes and green woodpeckers in the field so again kept our fingers crossed for those too.
We also checked the side garden and front of house too at times but as most of our bird action happens at the back of the house we always had someone counting there 
Okay now for the results 
Our count took place from 10.40 am to 11.40 am weather was overcast with some light drizzle at times, brightening up slightly for the last 10 minutes or so. participants in the count today were myself, Mr S and my daughter joined in for some of it too!

birds seen on feeders
Goldfinch 6 
Blue tit 4 
Great tit 2
coal tit 1

birds seen in yard 
blackbird 4
chaffinch 2
robin 2
dunnock 2

birds seen in hedge 
goldcrest 1
reed bunting 1

birds seen in field but within our allocated area
jackdaw 17
magpie 1
woodpigeon 4
stock dove 3

obvious highlights goldcrest and reed bunting (both of these photos taken from my bedroom, through our double glazed windows) 

Missing that regularly visit 20 long tailed tits, wren, nuthatch and greenfinch and it would have been great to have included a redpoll or two along with a brambling, siskin, green woodpecker, great spotted woodpecker. we did hear a tawny calling from a nearby tree and 7 Canada geese flew over too but couldn't include either of those. hey ho.

Then later I went onto the RSPB page to submit my results and I had problem with adding birds so I am now not sure if my full results were submitted or only the ones included on their list. But hey I tried!