Saturday morning, and full of good intention, I settled myself down with pen and paper, plus of course tea with 2 sugars and a little milk, and with a good lookout onto the rear garden.
Starlings started to appear almost immediately and I realised how difficult it is to count so many birds when none of them stay still for more then a few seconds. Starlings of course are always squabbling and fighting and falling out, so are always moving around and are never still. In amongst the Starlings were the usual House Sparrows, one then two, then three, then back to two, then in flew two more, then all the birds took off as one. Probably the next door neighbour letting out the dog. Preservation of course makes the birds easily spooked, but that is good, the ones who do not respond to the alarm of others will not survive.
They were soon back, with the Starlings coming in even greater numbers, I managed to count twenty together at one time. also putting in an appearance were the Collared Doves and the male Blackbird.
I was then called away and could not return to the count, so I abandoned my Big Garden Birdwatch for the day and resolved to start it again Sunday morning, I would have an hour to spare before heading off to visit my daughter.
So Sunday morning arrived and I settled myself down again to begin the count. Once more I had my pen and paper to hand and a cup of tea within easy reach. For the next hour I was not disturbed, not even by the birds. I am sure they must have conspired against me in their failing to turn up. The number of birds to show in that hour were in no way representative of the number and variety of birds that I see in my garden.
During the hour I did not see any of the Blackbirds, no Blue Tits, Great Tits or Coal Tits, no sign of the Robin or the Wren, but I guess that is what can result from taking a one hour snapshot which is what the Big Garden Birdwatch calls for.
No doubt Monday morning they will all be there as usual, coming along to be fed, maybe each of them with a cheeky little smile on their face, knowing that they foiled my Big Garden Birdwatch 2011.