Sunday, 29 January 2012

Big Garden Birdwatch

I have just finished my hour surveying the garden for the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch. Anyone who happens to read this blog is most likely already familiar with this event. It is such a simple survey that makes a huge contribution to our knowledge of our birds. Last year I carried out two surveys, one in my Northern Ireland garden and one with RSPB staff at an event at the Belfast Museum.

I topped up the feeders earlier in the morning plus some extra food and let things settle down for awhile and for the numbers to build up. The first 15mins of the hour were the most exciting. Good numbers of finches filled the garden, a treecreeper made an appearance then all of a sudden out of nowhere and 12mins into the survey a female Sparrowhawk!!! I could not believe my luck, first one I have ever seen in this garden and my first of this year, brilliant. It was all over in a matter of seconds, she struck, touched down briefly then flew off in the Dingwall direction empty handed.

As you can imagine it was fairly quiet for awhile after but numbers built up again including a poor lone House Sparrow who was missing an eye but strangely no sign of any Starlings.

End Result:

Blackbird - 3
Chaffinch - 38
Greenfinch - 5
Goldfinch - 7
Siskin - 2
Robin - 2
Great Tit - 2
Blue Tit - 2
Treepcreeper - 1
House Sparrow - 1
Coal Tit - 1
Dunnock - 2
Sparrowhawk - 1

Birds seen during hour but not included in survey results were:

Buzzard - 2
Red Kite - 1
Carrion Crow - 7
Jackdaw - 3
Woodpigeons - 23
Herring Gull - 4
Common Gull - 3

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