RSPB’s Winter Great Garden Birdwatch

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Posted by The Park Keeper | Posted in Nature Watch | Posted on 04-02-2013

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Robin in Panshanger
A robin perches in the neighbour’s hedge!
Lesley writes:
Last weekend (26th/27thJanuary 2013) was the RSPB’s Winter Great Garden Birdwatch, an activity where members of the public are asked to count the total number of birds they see in their garden or park at any one point in time during a period of an hour. There will be a second one in Summer after the nesting period. This all began in 1979 and is, reportedly, the biggest single wildlife survey in the world with nearly 600,000 people participating last year – a huge number.In order to make it an interesting watch I made sure all the garden feeders were topped up and that there was plenty of fresh water in the birdbath, in order to attract as many birds as possible into the garden. It can be a long hour when no-one is visiting. With binoculars, pen, paper and id book to hand I switched between the windows downstairs and those upstairs. It proved to be a busy time in the garden with a total of 16 different species recorded in that hour, plus a red kite seen flying overhead in the not too far distance. And this is what appeared:
  1. Blackbird
  2. Blue tit
  3. Carrion crow
  4. Chaffinch
  5. Collard dove
  6. Dunnock
  7. Fieldfare
  8. Goldfinch
  9. Great tit
  10. House sparrow
  11. Magpie
  12. Redpoll
  13. Robin
  14. Starling
  15. Woodpigeon

And one mystery bird that I thought may have been a Linnet, but I can’t swear on that as I only caught fleeting sight of it.

I didn’t think that was bad for an urban garden. Obviously, when the weather is cold you do get more birds in the garden as food is harder to find in the wild and the country also plays host to overseas visitors like fieldfares and redpolls arriving from harsher climes. I heard that someone very recently reported sighting a flock of waxwings feeding from berry bearing trees in Panshanger. That is one bird that always appears in garden bird books but that I’ve yet had the pleasure of seeing myself. So, far I’ve listed nearly 30 species in our garden but I’m always on the lookout to add more.

 I’d be interested to hear if anyone else did the birdwatch and how many species they spotted!