"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

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

RSPB Garden Birdwatch

As I am sure many of you will know and no doubt took part last weekend was the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. For the benefit of anyone who visits my blog from overseas the RSPB has been organising Garden Bird Counts since 1979 and many people count birds in their garden for an hour over the Birdwatch weekend. Once results have been submitted the RSPB use the data to monitor trends in birds so that action can be taken if a species is declining. Last year around half a million took part and counted more than 7 million birds.

I've been taking part in this survey for many years although I have to admit its not so much fun now D and E have grown up and I tend to watch the garden on my own! The count this year was really low - I usually see between 12 and 15 species but this year it was just 9. The number of birds and individual species visiting the garden this winter does seem to be low overall and I am just hoping its due to the fact that there is plenty of natural food available so birds don't need to visit feeders or gardens so often.

So what did I see?

House Sparrow x 4

Dunnock x 1

Robin x 1

Carrion Crow x 2

Wood Pigeon x 1

Blackbird x 1

Goldfinch x 5

Blue Tit x 2

Magpie x 1

I did spot my first wren of the year in the garden and a group of Long-tailed tits visited the feeders later in the day. I think many people discover that the special birds always appear just after the hour is up!


Chris Rohrer said...

You are awesome! I know that camera has been a help. Thanks for posting all your bird pics. These all would be lifers for me:) What an incredible crew of birds you have hanging around your patch. Thank you!

Countryside Tales said...

Mine seemed low this year too- mild weather? I didn't get a Goldfinch though :o)

Ragged Robin said...

Chris Rohrer - Thanks so much Chris. Although I have to admit the photos were taken in the past of birds in the garden using the olympus dslr and 70-300 lens! Still trying to get to grips with the Canon bridge and super duper zoom!!

Countryside Tales - Thank you. Yes could be mild weather. Will be interesting to see the results when they are published.

Rambling Birder said...

It was fairly quiet for my count on Sunday too though thankfully our resident garden Bullfinches did make an appearance. We didn't get any Goldfinches or Sparrows though :-(

As you say it will be interesting to read the results.

Kindest regards :-)

Caroline Gill said...

Thank you for visiting my blog. Yes, it was lovely to have the Woodies ... but I'm envious (in a nice way!) of your House Sparrows, which are incredibly few and far between in my Suffolk neck of the woods. Lovely photos!

SeagullSuzie said...

I thought you'd take part and was looking forward to the results. I missed it this year, with other things on my mind. However we do have a Robin, Dunnock, Blackbirds, Wood Pigeon and a mouse (which keeps the cats entertained).

Ragged Robin said...

Rambling Birder - Thanks so much. Well done on the Bullfinches - it must be wonderful to have this species as a garden resident! We only get the occasional sighting here. Best wishes Caroline

Caroline Gill - Thanks so much for visiting and commenting. I am really enjoying reading your blog.

We are lucky with house sparrows - there is still quite a colony here and they nest in the house eaves. The two species which have more or less completely disappeared garden wise are Starling and Collared Dove :(

SeagullSuzie - Thanks Suzie. I do hope you are ok - thinking of you and take care of yourself. Best wishes Caroline

Lou Mary said...

Lovely to hear what turned up in your garden RR :) Most of our 'usuals' arrived within the hour, only a lone LTT 10 minutes afterwards. Did you like the set up of the online entering page? I thought it was quite nice and easy to navigate! We had 16 House sparrows! A real increase this year, they must have been busy last summer :) x

amanda peters said...

Great set of birds RR, they might be common birds like mine but I would really miss them if they were not around, this morning I took time to listen to the Starlings singing..magical
Amanda xx

Ragged Robin said...

Lou Mary - Thanks so much. Yes, I agree the online entering page was great to use although I had the usual problem of forgetting my password and had to reset!! Well done on the increase in house sparrows -always good to see them doing well in some areas when they are declining elsewhere. We still get plenty here too :)

Amanda Peters - Thanks so much Amanda. Yes, I get a lot of pleasure too from watching the more common species. Have been observing a blue tit going in and out of the nestbox this morning :) You are lucky to still get starlings - there are plenty round here at shopping centres etc but these days they rarely visit the garden. I can remember when dozens used to descend on the feeders regularly.

Em Parkinson said...

Isn't it amazing how fast that hour goes? I usually find something really rare appears in the five minutes afterwards....infuriating!

Ragged Robin said...

Em Parkinson - Thank you. Yes, you are right the hour does go fast and yes too the more unusual appears just after its finished!!