Saturday, 26 January 2013

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

This is the third consecutive year that I have participated in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. As with last year, the numbers and range of species seen were rather untypical when compared with my usual garden observations, most of which last a few minutes, rather than an hour.

I watched from 10:00 to 11:00. I would have been better choosing an earlier slot; by the time I started I think many birds had had their fill. There is still a lot of snow on the ground, but it was a sunny morning with plenty of early morning feeding time.

In the first 15 minutes things looked promising. There followed half an hour when virtually nothing happened. One of the local cats crept along the back fence, the probable reason for the lean patch.

I had reached the final five minutes with no members of the Tit family in evidence. Then a pleasant surprise; the first Mistle Thrush recorded in our garden landed on the fence, then briefly pecked at some bread on the lawn before disappearing into the distance.

A single Coal Tit partially rescued the event. I don’t usually put out bread; this was an attempt to lure some of the many gulls that circulate our garden, but seldom land. The result was no gulls, just Blackbirds abandoning the seed for the bread!

My final rather dismal tally, Mistle Thrush apart (or Mislead Thrush as the spell checker insists on calling it) was as follows:

4 Blackbirds (one female) – four others sat and watched from the neighbours tree
1 Mistle Thrush
1 Dunnock
1 Greenfinch (one is almost unheard of in our garden, they usually come in sixes)
1 House Sparrow (female)
2 Starlings
1 Chaffinch
1 Coal Tit
2 Collared Doves
1 Robin

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