Author Topic: Big Garden Birdwatch  (Read 6786 times)

Big Garden Birdwatch
« on: January 27, 2016, 09:16:20 pm »
Anyone else doing it?   We are looking forward to it as we gets lots of birds in the garden so hoping for a good showing!

Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2016, 10:11:52 pm »
Thanks for the heads up. RSPB (I'm still a member, despite some concerns about RSPCA-style diseases of governance) may have sent me a form, but it may have been shredded by now because it looked too much like a begging letter.

Sadly many of the birds around/in our garden seem to be very good at avoiding it over the Birdwatch weekend. Last year I didn't see anything apart from woodpigeons, magpies & the odd jackdaw. We usually see (hear) lots of titmice, nuthatches, dunnocks, blackbirds, robins, wrens, jays, song thrushes, bullfinches, & possibly goldfinches. We have even had during the last fortnight a grey heron researching our tiny pond, a buzzard flying over & a raven (or a crow with a very deep voice). It's difficult, since the disappearance of house sparrows, starlings, greenfinches & chaffinches troubles me.

Pingu

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Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2016, 10:35:00 am »
Scores on the doors:

Chaffinch3
Blue tit2
Blackbird2
Robin2
Goldfinch14
Feral pigeon2
House sparrow1
Dunnock2
Carrion crow1
Herring gull2
Jackdaw2
Magpie2

No great tits, coal tits or greenfinches.

1 cat, no squirrels.

Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2016, 12:51:57 am »
My total for the hour 1100-1200 today was 3 wood pigeons. One of those was on our ash tree, but on a branch on our neighbour's side of the boundary. There were one or two jackdaws visible on the tops of cypressus/chamaecyparis trees in more distant gardens. A couple of blue tits landed in the flowering cherry next door, which is usually a popular feeding site. They left quickly. Birds flying over were one unidentified small bird, a couple of herring gulls and a few woodpigeons.

That is utterly atypical of what I see in the back garden. For 44 minutes there were no birds in our garden. There was a robin singing in the distance & a possible song thrush competing with the incessant traffic noise from about 500m away.

During the whole hour there was not a single tree rat in our garden. That looks less than coincidental.

Last year, I gave up. Today, I realised that my thoroughly negative observations are a crucial part of the Birdwatch, with an implication that the numbers may well be biaised because others will have been put off because they didn't see "lots of birds" (YACF is a nice illustration of a subtle competiveness about such things) & didn't bother to record their results. It's no more than an anecdote, but it might be a trend.

This year, helped by by Aidans post, I've realised I must record my observations. Tonight the RSPB website has defeated me. I've spent enough of my working life in IT to recognise a cock-up...


Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2016, 06:54:18 am »
We are doing our hour this afternoon.  Mrs Aidans been on nights so waiting until after she's had a snooze this morning. Very little in the garden yesterday :-( but the weather was pretty awful.   Not looked at the website return form yet, but might just do now!  there's alwaysthe option of a paper return. :hand:

Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2016, 07:46:37 am »
I'm due to do mine once the heating kicks in. Crumbling Nick, we're not that far from each other, so maybe it's the same raven flying over? Starling and sparrows are visitors, though less frequent than the green and goldfinches. Recently that's down to sunflower hearts being on offer rather than meal worms, which the starlings guzzle down. I have no affiliation with them, but GW Titmus flog 30Kgs of sunflower hearts for £30 delivered. I'm well into the second 15Kg bag this winter.

Update from a rainy Warwick at 5-6C:

Greenfinches 5
Goldfinches   5
Chaffinch      1 (first sighting, yay!)
Magpie         1
Great tit       2
Robin           1
Blackbird      3
Collared
Dove            1
Wood
pigeon          2

Much better than last year's measly total.
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2016, 09:00:24 am »
Scores on the doors:

Chaffinch3
Blue tit2
Blackbird2
Robin2
Goldfinch14
Feral pigeon2
House sparrow1
Dunnock2
Carrion crow1
Herring gull2
Jackdaw2
Magpie2

No great tits, coal tits or greenfinches.

1 cat, no squirrels.


Just a quick point, the idea is to record the highest number of any species you can see at one time, not individual sightings.  If thats what youve done then youve a serious Goldfinch infestation ;D

Pingu

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Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2016, 11:52:11 am »
That was the highest number seen at one time.

Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2016, 12:10:44 pm »
Bloomin eck :thumbsup: thats a lot of Goldfinches!


Ive been looking out this morning and seen bugger all :'(  I think the birds are playing awkward!  starting at 2.00pm with our hour so hope it gets busier

Wombat

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Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2016, 12:26:21 pm »
We were prepared to do it, and went to the RSPB website, and got the distinct impression its not birds they are trying to gather maximum information about, its us.  I'm more than happy to do bird research, but I fail to see why they need all that information about me.  Fuck off, RSPB.
Wombat

Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2016, 03:16:53 pm »
Im a member so they already have all off my details.
our tally was a bit disappointing , we normally see lots more than we did.

ended up with
6 woodpigeons
2 blackbirds
2 dunnocks
4 Longtailed tits
a couple of crows
and a Robin



Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2016, 03:36:09 pm »
Yes, Crumbling Nick, ITYP about the competitiveness in these things. I was disappointed last year when I saw almost no birds, but still submitted my results, because, as you rightly point out, low number submissions are as useful in painting the overall picture as results like my rather 'better' observations today.

I have made the garden more bird friendly over the last couple of years. The elder has grown well since being pruned and gives ample perching near the feeders; the privet hedge is now that rather than a row of saplings and the laurel tree provides good roosting. We have few cats nearby and I am quick to discourage them should they appear. I would dearly like to provide more fodder for the ground feeding birds, but the squirrels are quick to take advantage. Having said that, the finches are such messy feeders that there is always plenty of spilled seed for the blackbirds and robin.
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2016, 07:43:37 pm »
I also saw far fewer birds today than last year, or what I think of as usual. I can imagine two contributing factors, that I'm assuming that the RSPB can adjust for in their analysis: a) crappy wet day, b) failure to bait the feeders just prior to watching on account of a.

However we still got a pair each of robins, blackbirds, and magpies; half a dozen sparrows, a great tit (usually there's a flock of tits, wonder where they are?).

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
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Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2017, 06:20:00 pm »
It's the 2017 version this weekend.

Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2017, 06:05:13 am »
It's the 2017 version this weekend.

We are doing it again :thumbsup:

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
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Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2017, 11:22:52 am »
2017 count from the Igloo:

Chaffinch2
Blue tit2
Blackbird2
Robin2
Goldfinch25
Great tit2
House sparrow1
Dunnock1
Carrion crow1
Herring gull2
Jackdaw1
Magpie1
Coal tit1
Collared dove1
Redwing1

Also heard waxwings, but didn't see them. No feral pigeons at all during the hour  :o



top10 by The Pingus, on Flickr

Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2017, 12:39:10 pm »
2017 count from the Igloo:


Goldfinch25


Are you breeding them or something?  ;D

Pingu

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Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2017, 12:59:53 pm »
Apparently  :)

Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2017, 01:09:00 pm »
Seriously though, what food do you put out that attracts them in such numbers?   

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
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Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2017, 01:33:53 pm »
They eat sunflower hearts. They used to eat niger, but they haven't touched that for ages so we've stopped putting that out.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2017, 11:52:34 pm »
Today's count:

10 Collared-Dove
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
2 Jackdaw
3 Coal Tit
4 Blue Tit
2 Great Tit
2 Robin
4 Blackbird
2 Dunnock
2 Yellowhammer
7 Chaffinch
2 Greenfinch
8 House Sparrow

A grey day, with a bit of drizzle, so maybe a bit quiet.
Still most of the usual stuff, though I rarely get that many collared doves at once. And there were a few long-tailed tits earlier in the morning, but they disappeared before the count.

Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2017, 02:23:17 pm »
We do a similar count here in France for the LPO (league for the protection of birds).
Greenfinch 8
Chaffinch 23
sparrow 4
bluetit 4
jackdaw 1
magpie 1
robin 1
green woodpecker 1
collared dove 4
blackheaded gulls 4
blackbird 1

Not on Sunday but during the same week I saw 4 crows, several woodpigeons and a jay. Thrushes are fairly common. Both Saturday and Sunday were wet and windy and this seems to affect the avian population. We have a large garden not all of it visible from the window I was sitting at, and we are surrounded by trees. One of our cats thinks it is his function in life to reduce the birdlife in the garden.

We do quite well for birds here. We are quite near the river Odet so we get gulls in the garden. On the river herons, egrets and cormorants may be seen. In winter there are avocets. Further down the river bone may see spoonbills and there is a colony of sacred ibises which escaped from a zoo and are still about. Cattle egrets may also be found. All this without going very far, we are really very lucky.

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
  • Mrs Pingu's domestique
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Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2018, 02:24:06 pm »

Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2018, 10:21:06 am »
Disappointing tally today. 1 (maybe 2 ) blackbird, a goldfinch (usually get lots), a dunnock, 2 robins and a scrawny wood pigeon. Mind you, I haven't been as regular with topping up the feeders this winter as I was last year.
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
  • Mrs Pingu's domestique
    • the Igloo
Re: Big Garden Birdwatch
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2018, 01:05:36 pm »
That was a bit different from previous years!

2018 count from the Igloo:


Chaffinch1
Blue tit2
Blackbird1
Robin1
Goldfinch:o
Long-tailed tit:)
House sparrow7
Dunnock2
Carrion crow1
Herring gull1
Jackdaw3
Magpie2
Coal tit1
Great spotted woodpecker:)
Redwing3
Feral pigeon3

I've only ever seen a GSW once before in this garden and never seen long-tailed tits here before today  :)

I was expecting the number of goldfinches to be lower because the bird seed consumption seems to be very low at the moment. I thought I'd see more than one , though.

Some photies here:
https://flic.kr/s/aHsmemkExp