RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch

January 31, 2016  •  1 Comment

This weekend January 30th & 31st was the weekend for all those with an interest in birds covering all levels of knowledge on birding to take part in the Uk wide event.

My hour was recorded on the Saturday morning and after topping up the bird feeders, apples etc. I waited for the birds to arrive by setting up a make-shift bird hide in the summer house in the corner of my garden and I didn't have to wait long before all the regulars to our small suburban garden started to drop in from the Copper Birch tree that borders the bottom of or garden. 

We have a small open bird (tray-like) table for general seed etc. and 2 feeding stations each with 3 bird feeders hanging form them all with niger seed and sunflower hearts laden to the top and a little general seed mix on the low down tray at the bottom of the pole supporting the hanging feeders.

The birds had their usual forays onto the feeders with good amounts of time up in the tree for safety, this is usual for us as we get a Sparrowhawk that likes to feed off the feeding birds too!

The largest number of one species of bird seen during the sample hour was the lovely Goldfinch - we can get well over 40 at times filling our garden, on the feeders and on the floor at the same time but not today with a maximum number recorded being 12.
The Collared Doves which can total 13+ birds at once were only 2 during this hour.
We don't get daily visits from Greenfinches but see them with fair regularity but they always seem very nervous and flighty 4 nice looking birds were seen on this occasion.

House Sparrows that call into our garden are normally heard before they are seen with them calling from well inside the few bushes that are in our garden, managed to catch this one before it went back into the bush to hide.
In a spell of a couple of minutes half a dozen Blackbirds came in to pick the bits and pieces that were dropping from the feeders adorned with Goldfinches etc. 

The star bird we are seeing every day the moment is without doubt the Redpolls we are seeing, this year we have had a maximum off 8 which was matched during the hour long big garden bird watch. A couple of years back when the weather was more cold and harsh we did manage over 30 birds daily in the garden!

The whole hour went pretty fast with nice sections of activity a total of 43 birds seen covering 11 species in total. Here's there full list

Goldfinch - 12
Redpoll - 8
Blackbird - 6
Chaffinch - 4
Greenfinch - 4
House Sparrow - 2
Wood Pigeon - 2
Collared Dove - 2
Robin - 1
Dunnock - 1
Jackdaw - 1

After the count I went to town and upon my return I looked out of the kitchen window to see the afore mentioned Sparrowhawk came in like a bullet to 'steal' a Goldfinch away the sunflower heart feeders it was on and within a second it was on its way out of the garden with its snack!

That was my hour, so how did your bird count go then?


Nigel Stewart(non-registered)
Great blog Steve stunning pics mate and one well fed sparrowhawk to.
I had good numbers in my hour on the third attempt as the weather kept them away on sat but good normal numbers on sun.
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