Watch the Birdie

The Big Garden Bird Watch is this weekend and we’ve been peering out of the window trying to establish the optimum time to spend an hour counting the birds that visit our garden.  Bird visitors fall into three categories: common and friendly; frequent but scared; rare and interesting.

Common and friendly: robin, sparrow, blackbird

Frequent but scared: blue tit, great tit, coal tit, dunnock, thrush, woodpigeon, collard dove,

Rare and interesting: great spotted woodpecker, chaffinch, goldfinch, redwing, long tailed tit, hawfinch, fieldfare, squirrel.

I thing some of the rare ones just come at times of day when we’re not sitting around staring at the garden.  The early morning crew include the common and frequent visitors.  Friendly birds like our robin and blackbirds who sit around watching us if we’re outside are quite entertaining.

Yesterday was the first time we’ve seen a long tailed tit so that was quite exciting in a geeky way.  The woodpecker also appeared, last summer we had woodpecker feeding woodpecker jr. which was very cute.

Of course when we actually sat down to count the birds, they all decided to be else where.  All of the rare and interesting list was no where in sight and the rest were shy at best.  This may have been because the female blackbird was on a bit of a power kick and kept chasing anything with wings.

In the end, after an hour of peering out the window:

Blackbird – 2 (1 male, 1 female); Blue Tit – 2; Dunnock – 1; Great Tit – 2; House Sparrow – 7 (but possibly more, difficult to tell as the blackbird kept chasing them); Robin – 1; Song Thrush – 1.

If I did this again, I’d do it on a Saturday because fewer people are out walking their dogs.  We were watching the front garden so any passers by disturbed the birds.  The church bells were also going full peal, and if the birds are anything like me, they were somewhere where they couldn’t hear them!  [I’ve nothing against church bells when rung well…].

The results will be available in March so we’ll just have to wait until then to find out how typical our garden is!

2 Replies to “Watch the Birdie”

  1. My Mum spotted 18 different species and was most excited about it on the phone earlier today! She listed some species I’d never seen in that garden before – apparently she sees much more birds now that our old cat has shuffled off this mortal coil.

  2. You can lure goldfinches into being much more regular visitors by putting out niger seeds (they’re so small you need a slightly different feeder though).

    We got one 2-3 weeks ago and now see them quite regularly – probably every day (ie I noticed them on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend, but don’t spend enough – any – time at home during daylight hours on weekdays to have good data!).

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