"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, 29 January 2018

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

End of January means it is time for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch - like many of you I've been doing this for years and it is always interesting to read on other blogs what people have seen in their gardens.

It was raining heavily on Saturday and there were few birds about so I did my birdwatch yesterday when it was dry and sunny. Our garden faces South making photography (and even watching birds at times!) a bit of a challenge but it did cloud over a bit for the last half hour.

So what did I see?

House Sparrow x 5

Wood Pigeon x 5

Robin x 2 (sometimes we get 3 in the garden and it is amusing to watch the "resident" robin chasing away the other two intruders!

Blackbird x 2

Great Tit x 1

Blue Tit x 3

Dunnock x 3

Goldfinch x 3

Starling x 1

Long-tailed Tit x 2

Essential equipment!

As many of you have commented several species fail to put in an appearance during the hour - here it was Magpie, Carrion Crow, Stock Dove, Wren and Coal Tit. The Blackcap we had on the feeders for about two weeks has disappeared but the Ring-necked Parakeets are still visiting - they turned up an hour after the Birdwatch finished.


Deborah RusticPumpkin said...

It's so annoying when they do that, isn't it? Especially when they are regular visitors. I've still yet to do mine, family emergency, so I'll do it when I can now.

Ragged Robin said...

Deborah RusticPumpkin - Thank you - yes missing species seem to happen every year and I know I am not alone in this!

So sorry to hear about your family emergency - hope you get everything sorted soon.

Countryside Tales said...

All mine showed up except the greenfinch and shes an occasional visitor anyway :o). Shame about the blackcaps, I’ve not seen any this winter.

Rosie said...

You saw a great selection of birds in your hour, similar to the ones we spotted. We were visited by a pair of robins together and then our usual one legged one came later. Was sad not to be able to record any goldfinches though as we sometimes have as many as eight at a time. How wonderful to see long tailed tits, we rarely see them here. Of course the first birds we saw this morning were magpies and pigeons which didn't appear at all yesterday:)

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Thank you and glad to hear all yours turned up :) Rarely get Greenfinches here these days :(

Ragged Robin said...

Rosie - Thank you. I noticed we saw similar species :) Magpies and Wood Pigeons turning up the day after sounds familiar!! Our goldfinches did disappear for a time this winter but have now returned. But not as many this winter as we usually get. Interesting how birds vary from year to year both in the species present and the amount of each species. We had Great Spotted Woodpeckers for years - even young ones but I haven't seen one at all for a long time.

CherryPie said...

I didn't do this on the day but regular visitors to my garden are pigeons, magpies, house sparrows, blackbirds, blue tits, great tits, the occasional Jay and in the summer we had a gathering of long tailed tits.

In addition to the birds we have a pair of bats flitting around our garden on summer evenings.

Ragged Robin said...

CherryPie - Thank you. Interesting to read of your sightings. We only get the occasional jay.

We get bats in the garden in the summer too - lovely to watch them.

Pam said...

A nice selection, would have been great to get the Parakeets but i'm sure they were just waiting around the corner till you' done :D

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Cat and sparrowhawk did for mine!

Ragged Robin said...

Pam - Thanks - yes I am sure you are right about the Parakeets :)

Simon Douglas Thompson - oh dear :( I did see a cat skulking across the rockery at one point but a sparrowhawk is a pain as well. When I see one here the birds dive into bushes for ages and ages!

amanda peters said...

Nice to see what was coming in your garden, reading on Facebook and Twitter most people have said the best birds seem to stay away for the weekend, when this event is on !!
Still have to have another go at putting my results in.
Amanda xx

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Thanks Amanda. I agree I think most people have the same problems with best birds not appearing. Hope your bullfinches did! I meant to ask if you had managed to enter results yet. I will try tomorrow I think and let you know how I get on! First have to find the stuff from RSPB Magazine with reference number on!!!

The Wessex Reiver said...

I'm impressed with both three dunnocks and the restraint of your essential equipment - surely over an hour, 2 coffees, a biscuit and some cake is the absolute minimum :-) Reading another comment above, I've been scanning the scrubby fields at the back of the house daily for bullfinches, which are increasing in the area, yet my score sheet remains zero. But I did see a barn owl nearby last week, first time in 10 years.

Ragged Robin said...

The Wessex Reiver - Thanks Andrew - it is interesting watching the behaviour of the Dunnocks especially when the breeding season approachs :) Ha ha re: restraint. What you can't see is the empty wrappers of several other chocolate biscuits!! and two cups of tea were consumed :)

Hope you get successful with your bullfinches and that is super news about the barn owl. What a treat to be able to watch it :)

Toffeeapple said...

I think the birds n my garden dislike being counted - every year they disappear on Garden Birdwatch day. I saw one miserable Magpie!

Anonymous said...

Alas we didn't do it this year - slap wrists all round :-) good collection of species you get there Caroline.

Thanks for your kind recent comments on our Photographicus Blog.

Kevin and Seri

Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - Thanks for the comment. Your birds certainly disappeared even more than mine!!

Kevin and Seri - Thanks so much. To be honest I nearly forgot until a friend reminded me and then I saw it all over Twitter.

I love seeing those wonderful photos on your blog :)