Sunday, January 27, 2013

The RSPB | Big Garden Birdwatch | My Results

I carried out my Big Garden Birdwatch survey yesterday morning as planned. I have visited the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch website but it seems that the form for submitting results is not up yet. There is no need to panic though, the form will apparently be available online from this weekend until some time in February.

We had another fall of snow that started Friday evening and continued all through the night, much heavier this time. Accompanied by some strong winds it caused some quite deep drifts in the garden. I am afraid I could not manage to venture outside and it was down to my "Dearly Beloved" to brave the arctic conditions to see that the birds were fed and could access the water.

So at 09.20 I settled myself down with a clear view through the patio doors, pen and paper to hand and a cup of tea within easy reach. Sitting down and watching for a one hour period showed much more bird activity than I had anticipated. It demonstrated that you have to be watching for a period of time to get a true picture of the comings and goings of your garden birds.

The results, because for this survey you merely record the highest number of a species seen together at any on time, do not give a very good indication of how busy the garden was during this hour. It seemed to be a constant stream of birds flying into the garden for very short periods of time, just enough to grab a morsel of food and sometimes a drink, then flying away again.

I watched a pair of Coal Tits, which I had not seen recently, coming into the garden to wrestle free a nut from the string bag or to collect a sunflower seed from the bird table, then fly to the safety of a nearby tree. From here they would  return to the garden to search for a suitable place to "cache" it for later. They had a liking for the wall of the garage which they would inspect in minute detail looking for tiny cracks, nooks and crannies into which they could hide the food items away. They continued to do this throughout the hour I was watching, maybe disappearing for five or ten minutes then showing up again to repeat the performance.

It was amazing how quickly that one hour went.

My RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch Results:

Blackbird male       2
Blackbird female    1
Blue Tit                   1
Coal Tit                   2
Collared Dove         2
House Sparrow      3
Starling                  12
Woodpigeon           2

The survey should be carried out at anytime during this weekend 26 - 27 January 2013, so you still have all day today if you have not done yours yet.

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2013.

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