Big Garden Birdwatch (or Back Garden Bonanza!)

bgb coal tit 2.JPG

Coal tit and starling

Something a little bit different for our latest blog!  Alison and I took part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend, as part of a nationwide survey of the birds that visit our garden.  If you’re not familiar with it, it works like this:  you take an hour of your time over the weekend (this time from Saturday 28th to Monday 30th January) and simply count the numbers of different species of birds that you see during that hour.  Although it’s only the one hour that counts, we’ve been watching them in the garden all over the weekend, and share with you some of the pictures we’ve taken.  Please note that they were all taken through the window so clarity is not fantastic!  This is my garden, where we did our count:

bgb garden.JPG

As you can see, I prepared the garden by filling up all the feeders and water bowls to attract as many birds as possible.  We’ve mentioned this before, but it’s very important to feed them during the winter.  I also put pieces of apple out for them this weekend.

The weather wasn’t brilliant on Saturday, but the birds still put on a show.  Sunday morning was better with clear, blue skies, so we sat again for an hour while we were eating our breakfast.  It proved to be a very interesting morning!

bgb coal tit.JPG

Coal tit

The coal tit visited several times, and even perched and swung on the washing line for us.

Below are some of the bird species we spotted during our birdwatch:

bgb-blackbird

Blackbird (male)

bgb-female-blackbird

Blackbird (female)

bgb-jackdaw

Jackdaw

bgb-magpie

Magpie

bgb-magpie2

Magpie

bgb-sparrows

House sparrows

bgb starling2.JPG

Starling

BGB woodpigeon.JPG

Woodpigeon

It was very important for us to take part in this, as many of our bird species are in decline, even the once very common house sparrow.

We’ve been watching Winterwatch all last week: a magnificent display of birds you can find here in the UK, such as stonechat, Dartford warblers and wading birds of every size and colour.  We haven’t seen some of these species, but the birds in our garden are equally as exciting to watch: we had starlings fighting, jackdaws scaring smaller birds away – lots of drama!

Anyway, we really enjoyed our weekend.  Did any of our readers take part?  If so, please give us some feedback on what you saw, we’d love to know!

And to finish, how about this little wren that showed up in my garden last week – a first for our bird friendly back garden.

wren Lee's garden.JPG

If you haven’t taken part and would like to, there’s still time!  This year it’s been extended to include Monday so more people can take part.  Just follow the link https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch 

Even if you can’t get out and about, you can enjoy the birds in your garden.  Just put out some food and see what appears – you might be surprised!

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