"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Monday, 31 January 2011

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

It was the annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch at the weekend. Anyone can take part and the idea is to count the highest number of birds seen at any one time in your garden or a local park over the course of an hour. When the results are submitted the RSPB can create a "snapshot" picture of bird populations in various regions throughout the country and can use the information to help find out which species may be increasing or declining.

I spent an hour on Saturday counting birds in the garden and recorded the following:

Blackbird 2
Dunnock 3
Wood Pigeon 5
House Sparrow 8
Robin 2
Collared Dove 1
Goldfinch 3
Blue Tit 3
Great Tit 1
Feral Pigeon 3
Magpie 1

In past years I usually manage to count around 14/15 species so numbers were lower this year.

I still haven't seen a greenfinch in the garden this year and very few were around last autumn and early winter. I haven't noticed any signs of finches or house sparrows suffering from trichomonosis but for some reason greenfinch numbers have decreased dramatically. A pair of blue tits are still investigating the nestbox in the whitebeam. We had four robins in the garden yesterday - the resident pair who had to chase off two interlopers trying to sneak in from next door's garden.

Number of bird species seen in the garden this year = 20

Photo of the tame robin waiting on the patio for mealworms


The Wessex Reiver said...

I didn't get a chance this weekend to take part, but interesting your observations on less species. Of the reports I have read today, a few people have been saying this. Could be just coincidence, or maybe it is the cold weather taking its toll

Ragged Robin said...

Interesting (and worrying) that some others are reporting less species than usual. I suppose it could be coincidence but there again cold weather will probably have an effect on bird populations. We usually have male and female great spotted woodpeckers visiting the feeders several times a day but I haven't seen either for 10 days. It will be interesting to see the results when the RSPB publish them.