Sunday, 29 January 2017

Post 456 - Big Garden Birdwatch 2017

Blackbirds were the bird I saw most of -
there were nine when we first put the food out
Hey everyone, today's Post 456 and as most of you will know, the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch took place this weekend, it's the largest bird survey in the UK, and is also very important for the RSPB, and I guess lots of other conservation organisations. It helps to monitor bird populations and with half a million people doing it they get a lot of data and can see which birds are doing well and which aren't doing so well. Essentially, all you have to do to help is spend an hour looking out of your window at birds in your garden or you could go to your local park and pretty much anywhere else you can think of. The only two rules are to not count birds that fly over you, only ones that stop in your garden, as others around you also doing the Birdwatch could count them too, and only count how many you ever see at one time, not sightings, or you will probably end up counting the same birds several times.

It's surprising how many different birds you can see in just an hour, but also, other birds you've seen every day in the garden might not always turn up. Chris Packham tweeted that he had four nuthatches in his garden at the same time, Norman, the name I gave to a Nuthatch that visited us a couple of Autumns ago, didn't turn up sadly, but hopefully somebody else saw him :)

Anyway, the birds that I did see were:
Dunnock peering out of the hedge

9 Blackbirds
1 Wren
1 Coal Tit
3 Blue Tits
2 Great Tits
2 Long-Tailed Tits
1 Robin
3 Wood Pigeons
1 Collared Dove
3 Starlings
3 Dunnocks
1 Song Thrush
1 Carrion Crow
6 House Sparrows

I also saw 18 Mallards, 1 Herring Gull, 3 Black-Headed Gull, and what I'm pretty sure was a flock of about 30 Waxwings but these were all flyovers, so we didn't count them.

Zip in grab a seed and zip off again!
Oh and we got a visit from one of the local squirrels ;-)
Little and large - my biggest and smallest visitors.

It was interesting watching the different bird behaviours. There was a Carrion Crow that was just sat at the top of the trees, watching everything happening, surveying the area and occasionally taking off to go and explore something in the next field, but it didn't venture onto the bird table.

The Coal Tit and Blue Tits just zipped in for a few seconds to grab some food, and then flew off straight away taking their haul somewhere to enjoy safely. The Woodpigeons just walked around the bird table eating as much as possible it seemed, and the Sparrows (who dive into the hedge behind if there's any movement or noise) just jump on every so often to grab some, and then go back to the others. The Wren hardly ever stopped doing little circuits of the garden constantly hopping around searching for scraps to eat. It was nice to get a picture of the Wren next to a Woodpigeon, my smallest visitor next to the day's biggest.
Surveying the area.

The Blackbirds were another one that were interesting to watch. Most took it in turns to peck around the floor but now and again they would squabble to get a place on the bird table. They all seemed to get a good amount to eat and even if they didn't get onto the table the flapping and fighting made sure a few more bits of food found their way onto the ground. The Dunnocks happily helped to mop this up too.

This year I only had one Robin. In other years I've watched a few having little battles about territory, but not this year. In fact the Robin was unusually shy and didn't hang around very long.

One of the House Sparrows - they do well in our garden
Anyway, I always enjoy doing the Garden Birdwatch, and I hope you did as well. If you haven't had a chance to yet you can still take part tomorrow as it's on for an extra day this year.

You can find out more at: Big Garden Birdwatch

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. Lovely shots here Zach, I saw starlings the most, but we had our resident robin who stayed for the whole hour too, though I counted a lot less birds than last year. Lovely round-up! - Tasha