Every year the first date that goes in my diary is the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch. I always notice the birds in the garden, whether its the Woodpigeon’s squabbling over the grain, the Blackbirds digging around in the flower borders or the small charm of Goldfinches that are on the feeders. But once a year I stop for a whole hour and really pay attention, counting them all.
I perch myself on the kitchen counter to make sure I can see as much of the garden as possible and get as comfortable as I can! This year I felt more prepared. I invested in some binoculars last year which made identification quicker; its easy enough to complete the count without binoculars but there are loads of shrubs in the garden and the smaller birds hide in them, so with the aid of binoculars this time I could figure out who didn’t want to be counted 😉 In the past I have used a 500mm lens on my camera which gets a little heavy when holding it for an hour! This year I just used it to take some photos 🙂
I like to keep a table of what I have seen including previous years data for my own interest.
|Total no. of species||13||11||11|
I had a surprise visitor today; the Siskin. I have seen them in the garden before but only on one occasion, I was just lucky they turned up during my count 🙂 15 mins after I had finished counting I spotted a Greenfinch on the feeder! There have been Long-tailed Tits in the last few days but sadly none turned up today. I’m so glad the Sparrowhawk didn’t turn up or it would have really altered my count! When it shows it can be seen sitting on the fence waiting for the Goldfinches, we found a pile of feathers a few weeks ago!
The RSPB also ask what other animals you see in the garden throughout the year, we have: Hedgehog, Fox and Slow-worm.
Below are a few record shots of some of the birds I counted…