24th July, 2010
Every morning I eat my breakfast staring out of our kitchen window, to see what's visiting our bird feeder. Usually a Greenfinch is present on the black sunflower seed, there's always a Blackbird or three and others birds occasionally visit.
This Friday was a bonanza breakfast experience. No Greenfinch, but four young Blue Tits, one young Great Tit, three young Blackbirds, one adult Coal Tit, three House Sparrows, a Wood Pigeon and two Dunnocks.
It struck me that, earlier this year I participated in the RSPB garden count. I cheated a bit in that you were supposed to count for one hour. I watched for two hours and picked the best one hour period within that. The result was hopelessly unrepresentative of a typical hour in our garden. Hardly anything flew over, let alone landed.
My Friday morning experience was encapsulated in ten minutes (OK, so I bolt my breakfast!), so it was equally untypical. The answer is maybe to do future RSPB censuses (or should that be censi?) at breakfast time, but that would require an unprecidented one hour breakfast. Perhaps I should cheat again next time and pick the best ten minute breakfast that occurs during the census week.