This morning I took the annual hour out to count the garden birds for the Big Garden Birdwatch.
Now obviously I watch the garden birds more often than once year, possibly a little too much, especially when I have other things I ought to be doing! But doing it for citizen science can bring surprises, as it did with last year’s Redpolls.
Sadly however, there wasn’t so much to excitement me this year – though it was good to get our local Dunnocks on the list. As yet there are no Redpolls, nor the Siskin, but the latter don’t usually materialise until late February, for reasons I don’t know.
Anyway, this years list is as follows with some notes – as always the numbers are the maximum number of birds viewed at any one time within the hour:
– Goldfinches 13 (quarrelsome bunch)
– Greenfinches 3 (don’t always win their battles with the Goldfinches despite their relative bulk!)
– Dunnock 2 (I think there’s a romance going on, they follow each other faithfully)
– Blue Tit 2 (I really wish they’d use the lovely birch bird-box on their regular flight-path at the corner of the house.)
– Wood Pigeon 2 (who spent most the hour at either end of the fence, like bookends.)
– Feral Pigeon 4 (about a third of the actual number, which continually rises.)
– Robin 1 (as territorial as always, and particularly fond of seeing off the Dunnocks.)
– Blackbird 1 (briefly, high in his vantage point in the apple tree)
– Chaffinch 1 (briefly identifiable among the Goldfinches but didn’t fight for space to feed, which is sad when they used to be far the most numerous finch in the garden.)
–Starling 2 (numbers are down locally, they used to be almost a nuisance on the fat balls.)
The best bit of bird-watching in the day came immediately after I stopped watching the feeders – as I washed up yesterday’s dishes I watched the corvids mobbing a Sparrowhawk over the houses opposite! Typical.