Saturday, 29 January 2011

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch (UK)

This weekend is the time for the annual January RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. The idea being to spend an hour observing and counting the birds which visit your garden or local park. Full information HERE on the RSPB web site.

This time I decided to undertake my garden bird count earlier in the day. Usually I count them somewhere between mid morning and mid afternoon. Today I chose a start time of 8.30 a.m. The aim is to count the maximum number of each species which actually land in the garden (ground, feeders, bird table, etc.) at any one time .


Balackbird   18
Starling      6
Chaffinch     5
Rook          3
House Sparrow 2
Wood Pigeon   2
Tree Sparrow  1
Goldfinch     1
Blue Tit      1
Great Tit     1
Dunnock       1
Collared Dove 1
Jackdaw       1
Sparrowhawk   1

Three times while I was watching all the birds vanished in the blink of an eyelid so I guessed there was a raptor about. On the third occasion I saw it swoop low over the lawn and land on the fruit cage - unfortunately it didn't stay long enough to get it in focus with the camcorder. For the first time here it was a male Sparrowhawk. I usually see a female.


  1. It's a wonder there was anything prepared to share your garden with a Hawk. I can see more expense with day old chicks being added to your food bill.
    That is a very impressive count.
    On a more serious note I have noticed posh birders recording that there were eight five Lapwing and a hundred and two of Waxwing. How do they count them? There must be a method. I am being serious. I have sixty one point five Blackheaded Gulls on the pond next door......That's a guess. Point five? One didn't look too well.

  2. Scarcity of food Adrian. Hunger overcomes fear.
    There were some regulars missing as they come later in the day and also numbers of birds such as House Sparrows is much higher near the end of the day while the number of Blackbirds would be down to single figures.

    The way I was shown to count large groups of things was to count, say, 20 which are grouped together and then make a reasonable estimate as to how many such groupings there are. Otherwise you would have to photograph the whole lot and then sit down and count them!

    Talking of day old chicks - I spotted that both Great Tits are now visiting the nest box during the day. Things are looking up for a breeding pair.

  3. Was thinking of male domestic hen chicks. I used to keep a snake he/
    she loved them once a month.
    I really look forward to your technology. I was an engineer but electrics, never mind electronics baffle me. Once built a simple radio switching circuit and the capacitor was twice the size of the circuit board! Osculation I believe it's called!
    I have on two or three occasions driven a boat for cetacean watchers. OK they have sound as well but I always took their findings with a pinch of salt.............would do I'm an old salt.

  4. I read your birdlist with interest, quite the variety! I also enjoyed your Friday flicks of the pigeons and stock doves.

  5. It was quite a variety, Glo though some regulars were missing; e.g. Greenfinch, Magpie, Robin and Coal Tit. When you sit down and think about it there are more species than we realise visiting.

  6. 14 species, good going John. The birds don't seem to be so hungry here. It needs to be a bit colder to fill my garden again - not that I'm wishing the snow back!

  7. It varies here Shirl. On warm dry days there seem to be few visitors until late in the day.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

Related Posts with Thumbnails