RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

Friday 29 January 2010, 09:37

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron

Tagged with:

When? 30-31 Jan, 2010

A year has flown by (excuse the pun) but it's that time again when the RSPB ask the nation to keep a careful eye on their gardens over a 1 hour period and record the bird species they see in their gardens.

Why only an hour? Well it's an easy ask for starters, which means more people will take part!

It doesn't matter when you do it either, although birds are generally more active in the morning when feeding.

Winter time has been chosen as birds tend to come into our gardens more in search of food and shelter, so you can sit inside and count from the comfort of your own home.

Come rain or shine, there will be around half a million people taking part in this weekends survey so don't panic if your particular patch is quiet.

A wren by Sue Tranter, courtesy of RSPB images:
wren_rspb.jpg


The important thing is to be accurate, so only add birds you actually see during the hour you choose, even if your regular visitors fail to turn up, don't be tempted to add them - they will have been counted somewhere.

It's also crucial to submit your form/ info even if you don't see anything, as all the data is important and helps the RSPB learn about bird populations and work out which species need their help.

Visit the RSPB website from tomorrow onwards to submit your data.

You can download a form to record your sightings here but don't post this in - it's just to help you remember what you've seen.

To help attract more birds have a go at making bird feeders:

Things you'll need: Plastic drinks/ bottles, scissors, wire or string, bird seed, yoghurt pots or milk cartons (make sure they're clean)

  • Cut a hole in the side large enough to allow a free flow of seeds, but in such a way that it won't all fall out on the ground in the slightest puff of wind, and won't get wet if it rains.
  • Make a few small holes in the bottom of your feeder to allow any rainwater to drain away.
  • Hang it with wire, or even strong string from a tree or your washing line.
  • If your feeder starts to wear out or the food in it goes mouldy, recycle it and make another one!
Remember to keep your feeders well stocked, especially in winter too as birds come to rely on them and will go hungry if you forget.

Feeling peckish? Try making the speedy bird cake:

Things you'll need: Good quality bird seed, raisins, peanuts, grated cheese, suet or lard, yoghurt pot, string, mixing bowl, scissors.

  • Carefully make a small hole in the bottom of a yoghurt pot. Thread string through the hole and tie a knot on the inside. Leave enough string so that you can tie the pot to a tree or your bird table.
  • Allow the lard to warm up to room temperature, but don't melt it. Then cut it up into small pieces and put it in the mixing bowl.
  • Add the other ingredients to the bowl and mix them together with your finger tips. Keep adding the seed/raisin/cheese mixture and squidging it until the fat holds it all together.
  • Fill your yoghurt pots with bird cake mixture and put them in the fridge to set for an hour or so.
  • Hang your speedy bird cakes from trees or your bird table. Watch for greenfinches, tits and possibly even great spotted woodpeckers.
We've got plenty of information about garden birds on our website too.

I'll be taking part so will share my results with you on Monday!

Gull

Tagged with:

Comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 1.

    Hi i would like to suggest that you invite someone who is a regular contributor to send a count for a week or month , giving the same information in more presice detail.the birds do not know they are being counted on any hour and are invariably absent at such times. I cannot report the fact that I regularly see flocks of around 15 long tailed tits or Goldfinches or field fares that have stripped my berry trees a few weeks ago.
    I am willing to be such a volunteer and can give sightings that may be interesting to the RSPB if required.
    As a twice weekly angler who sits quietly by the river or lake i have seen many interesting and dramatic event in the seventy years i have been doing this.
    Thank you for reading this long comment I am yours sincerely,
    John Bryan

    Ps please add me to your email news letter again.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 2.

    In a 1 hour period 10am to 11am we have had the following birds enter our garden.

    Sparrows (2 at the most) Blue Tits, Great Tit, Robin, Wagtails, Blackbirds, Starlings.

    Apart from the 1 hour period above, we regulary have the above birds visit everyday. Also we have seen a Greenfinch, a Magpie (if we put meat out) and 3 visits from a Woodpecker, which we think is a green woodpecker, who feeds on our hanging peanut holder. We do put out Fat Balls, also meal worm feeder, wild bird seed, bread, to attract birds to our garden.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 3.

    We appreciate the efforts of the RSPB in conducting this survey, and receive information as to which species of birds are actually in decline. From our own recent experience we have noticed a decline in Sparrows and Starlings and an increase in Magpies. In our area of Newport we have an abundance of Jackdaws, although they do not enter our garden at all.They gather in the trees early evening making quite a noise.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 4.

    In the one hour birdwatch (13.15 'till 14.15) on Sunday 31 Jan 2010. I saw, in my garden: 3 blackbirds (2 male and 1 female).
    2 Blue tits. 3 House sparrows. 2 Robins. 2 Song thrushes.
    2 Woodpigeons. 2 seagulls. 1 Moorhen.
    We live in East Sussex about 200 yards from the beach at the front of the house and have a dyke at the back, dividing us from open fields. We feed the birds everyday and regularly see a wide variety.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 5.

    Although I regularly feed the birds in my garden, and enjoy seeing them through my kitchen window, I would like to thank the RSPB for making me sit and watch for 1 full hour. Maybe I should do it more often. Between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, I observed Blackbird, blue tit, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Robin, Starling and Wren. We also get Woodpigeons on a regular basis, however they did not appear this morning.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 6.

    At 8.30 a.m. on Saturday 30th January, I saw 2 male bullfinchs, and 1 female. 4 blackbirds, 2Pigeons, 5 sparrows, 1 bluetit, and 1 robin

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 7.

    I love to see the birds in our garden and I feed them regularly. It has been a harsh winter this year in the highlands so I have taken extra to care to give the birds that little bit extra. Sitting down today for my hour they all started to flock in I was amazed when I counted just how many visited the garden. I had 47 chaffinches, 6 greenfinches, 6 goldfinches, 3 blackbirds, 2 great tits, 2 blue tits, 1 robin and 1 house sparrow. With the ground full of snow it gave an advantage when trying to count them all. What joy they bring us.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 8.

    I love watching the birds and regularly feed them, it was lovely to see all the redwings and field fares when we had the snow, this afternoon I watched etween 2pm and 3pm and saw 2 blackbirds 1f 1m, 2 blackcaps 1f 1m, 1 dunnock, 1 bluetit, 1 great tit, 1 thrush, 5 goldfinches, 2 chaffinches, 5 house sparrows,4 woodpigeons and too many pigeons. There were many magpies in the trees in the field behind the garden and when I walk the dogs I can see up to atleast 12 house sparrows sunning themselves in the low bushes. I have not seen my goldcrest since the snow came a few weeks ago.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 9.

    I would just to like to record which birds I noted today at 12.30 to 1.30

    3 Goldfinches, 3 Woodpigeons, 1 Bluetit, 1 Blackbird, 2 Robins and 1 Dunnock

    We often get more blackbirds, have also had a Heron (eat all my fish from the pond) a fieldfare last week in the snow and a sparrowhawk which often lands on the garage roof.

    This the first time I have been on this site and I was sorry to see after each piece written, complain about this comment, what a pity we have to use this phrase and not just, any comments.

    Happy bird watching
    Sue

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 10.

    I dont have a garden but out of my front window there is a plie of rubbish that is open and the following birds visited it between 13.00-14.00 today.
    5 seagulls, 2 crows, 6 pidgeions

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 11.

    hi my hour count this morning was very buisy blue tits,blackbirds,wren,robin,and a very agressive thrush who bombed every bird in the garden hope they all come back when hes not looking i will keep my eye on him. Happy bird watching ang

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 12.

    Birds seen in the rear garden yesterday afternoon 2pm , we live in rural Bedfordshire:

    Collar dove x 1, Dunnock x 3, Blue tit x 2,
    Caffinch x 4, Blackbird male x 4, Blackbird female x 3,
    Woodpigeon x 1, Long tailed tit x 3, Great tit x 3, Robin x 4,
    Starling x 2, Willow tit x 1.

    We have a resident Wren as well in the front garden along with approx 3/4 house sparrows seen at the feeders, a Robin also.Occasionally we see a Heron fly over, and in the summer what could be a Buzzard cruising thorough the sky above us.

    We feed the birds same time everyday at 8.30 am with chopped apple, bread, mixed wild birdseed, peanuts, cake and feeders are hung in the apple tree, and home made fat balls.

    Happy birdwatching x
    jo

    Back in the recent snow spell, havoc erupted in the rear garden for a few moments one morning, when we were visited by a hunting Sparrowhawk....not sure if he caught anything it all happened so fast.
    But it was a very fast impressive bird.


  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 13.

    DURING MY WATCH I SAW FOR THE FIRST TIME FOR MANY MONTHS 2 LONGTAILED TITS, AS WELL AS THESE I HAVE A PAIR OF NUTHATCHES AND THEN THE USUAL BLUE TITS, GREAT TITS COAL OR WILLOW TITS I FIND IT DIFFICULT TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE.

    APART FROM THESE THE NUMBER OFBIRDS IN THIS VALLEY HAVE DETERIORATED BADLY. THE ODD BLACK BIRD, NO THRUSHES, THE MISTLE THRUSHES LEFT AFTER MANY YEARS, NO OTHER HEDGEROW BIRDS, YELLOWHAMMERS ETC. I WONDER WHY. WE HAVE NO CATS IN THE DISTRICT AND I FIND IT SAD THERE ARE SO FEW. THERE IS A LOT OF CHICKEN FEED AVAILABLE WHICH MAY HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT, BUT IT IS IN THE LAST 3/4 YEARS THEY HAVE DETERIORATED SO MUCH. wE HAVE AN ABUNDANCE OF MAGPIES, JACKDAWS WHICH OF COURSE DO NOTHING FOR THE ;POPULATION AND ALSO THE ODD SPARROWHAWK. IN THE SORT OF AREA I LIVE IN, WE SHOULD HAVE A MUCH BETTER SHOWING.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 14.

    Thanks for all your comments - much appreciated!

    *John Bryan - We don't have a newsletter any more but you can subscribe to this blog to keep up to date, and I try my best to keep it current and interesting!

    Well it was a frosty weekend all round, eh?

    My 6 month old baby son woke me up at 6am, so I decided to go for a bike ride down along the coast nr Sker House which looked amazing surrounded by white, frosty fields.

    Even the driftwood and pebbles along the sea shore were covered in frost!

    When I returned I sat down with a hot cuppa and kept an eye on the bird feeder...

    Here's my bird count from Porthcawl on Saturday morning:

    1x collared dove - a regular, he sits on top of a telegraph pole and flies down once the smaller birds have knocked seeds off the feeder onto the ground.

    2x house sparrows (1 male, 1 female)

    3x jackdaws - always about and taking an unhealthy interest in my chimney pots! They sit in the tree and watch the feeder jealously as they're too big for it.

    1x magpie - just passing through

    1x robin - the local bouncer, he defends the feeder aggressively until he's had his fill.

    1x female blackbird (very tame and a regular)

    1x dunnock

    1x wren

    1x female chaffinch





  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 15.

    i have tried to sign in it will not take my pass word i no it is right but hay i thought i say i forgot it but no email back from you i have tried on several occasions why no answer i am tring to take part in garden watch

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 16.

    Well a sad turn out on Sunday afternoon
    12:45 - 13:45 and only one sweet dunnock in my small garden at NE7 7AL Newcastle upon Tyne.

    Not a regular bird feeder and am ashamed as I used to be in Y.O.C. and was mad on our little feathered friends.

    Aim to improve this from now though - worrying turn out!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 17.

    During my hour watch 11am-12noon on Sunday 31st January, I spotted Blackbird x 6 of which one had a completely white head.
    Blue Tit x 4
    Carrion Crow x 2
    Collared Dove x 6
    Feral Pigeon x 2
    House Sparrow x 18
    Herring Gulls x 6
    Magpie x 4
    Robin x 4
    Rook x 4
    Song Thrush x 6
    Starling x 20
    Wood Piegon x 2

    I do have a bird table and also a bird feeder, which I did not have last year.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 18.

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for your post.

    This is the BBC Wales Nature blog - not the RSPB site, (I was just promoting the event) so if you're having problems, it's best to contact the RSPB directly. Hope this helps.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 19.

    Over the past few days I've been fortunate to see - in our rear garden in rural Essex:
    2 x sparrows
    2 male + 2 female blackbirds
    1 x wren
    1 x robin
    1 x pied wagtail
    2 x field pigeons
    2 x collared doves
    1 x fieldfare - He was eating windfall apples on front garden gravel. He'd managed to 'hide' in the apple tree by the time I found the camera but I got a couple of shots.
    1 x male pheasant
    1 x green woodpecker - I managed to capture him on video but the stills weren't so good as was at the limit of the camera's zoom (garden is 175').
    These were seen just from quick glances out of the kitchen window - a max of 1 hour in total and I'm now hooked! The binoculars are now kept on the window sill!! Anyone any ideas for a bird table which will encourage the garden birds whilst 'discouraging' the big fat pigeons!! Sorry to discriminate but they 'muscle in' and the shy birds don't stand a chance. It also needs to be 'cat proof' as next door's often lurks in our garden.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 20.

    i must have the entire house sparrow population in my garden every day at 0800 there are approx 40 waiting in my bushes to be fed.between 0800-0900 30 01 10 i had the above sparrows 6 blacvkbirds(3 male 3 female)2 greenfinch 2 chaffinch 2 robins 1 dunnock 1 wren 8 feral pigeons 4 collard doves 12 starlings 4 bluetits 2 coal tits ijackdaw 6 crows>i do have a large garden and 3 feeding stations the sparrows tend to use one while all other use the other 2

 

Page 1 of 2

This entry is now closed for comments

Share this page

More Posts

Previous
Little egret spotted at Aberglasney

Thursday 28 January 2010, 16:44

Next
Live review: Yucatan, Y Pentan, Mold (28 January 2010)

Friday 29 January 2010, 13:24

About this Blog

Behind the scenes on our biggest shows, the stories you won't see on TV & highlights from Welsh history, arts and music.

Follow us on Twitter & Facebook for the latest posts.

Blog Updates

Stay updated with the latest posts from the blog.

Subscribe using:

What are feeds?

BBC Wales tweets