Sunday, 25 January 2015
Today was the day of the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch. I've taken part in it a few times and, as I was at the cottage in Wales, decided to join in again. The bird watching at the cottage is usually pretty good, unlike at home where we are lucky to see our tame robin or the pair of blue tits who live in the alley, so I always try to make sure that I'm in Wales for the count.
The recording rules dictate that you only count and mark down the highest number of a single type of bird seen at once in your garden at any one time over the space of an hour. Of course there might be many more that the 7 greenfinches visting the garden that I was able to record. But how would I know if they were different to my magnificent seven? One greenfinch looks much the same as another to a point.
I stocked all the feeders well, even bought some specialist songbird seed to attract our feathered friends. A few years ago I did exceptionally well. All the usuals including long-tailed tits, and that year I also got a wren, a greater spotted woodpecker and, just outside of the hour limit but I counted it anyway, a nuthatch.
This year wasn't as spectacular as that but I was able to record 2 blackbirds, 3 blue tits, 4 chaffinches, 2 collared doves, 2 dunnocks, 2 goldfinches, a single great tit, a squabble of 7 greenfinches, 5 sparrows, 2 starlings, and a very faithful and almost always present robin. The jackdaw appeared on the hedge for a moment and there were lots of gulls overhead, but you are not allowed to count any birds flying over your garden. A pity really as there were two buzzards circling up high.
So that's that for another year. My results are posted on the RSPB website. I wonder what trends it'll spot?