Sunday, 30 January 2011

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch Survey

When I looked out of my bedroom window at 9:35am this morning and saw my first Greenfinch of the year on one of the feeders, I decided it was time to start my first RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch survey.  I've known about the BGB for a while, but I've never actually taken part before.

Armed with my binoculars, a cup of tea, some toast and my recording sheet printed off the BGB website, I shut myself in the dining room with the curtains slightly ajar to avoid being seen by the birds.  I say 'shut myself in' because we have two cats who were under strict orders not to be let out of the house or in the dning room for a hour or else I would see nothing.

The weather was good having warmed up considerably since the below freezing temperatures of yesterday and the sun frequently broke through the light cloud cover. Here's what I recorded:
  • Greenfinch - first time this year
  • Bullfinch - first ever recording in my garden
  • Coal Tit (2) - first time this year
  • Goldfinch
  • Blackbird (4)
  • Starling (4)
  • House Sparrow (4)
  • Blue Tit
  • Dunnock
  • Wood Pigeon
That made a total of 10 species and 20 individual birds that were in my back garden between 9:35am and 10:35am this morning. I also saw the following birds from my window but as they not actually in my garden I didn't submit them:
  • Skein of Pink-footed Geese (200+)
  • Jay
  • Collared Dove (2)
  • Magpie
  • Gull - probably Black-headed (14+)
I was quite disappointed not to see my fairly regular Robin, Long-tailed Tits, Coal Tits and Chaffinch during the sample time but hey-ho, that's what sampling is all about. All in all it wasn't a bad count for my suburban location.

After an hour the session was over and so I logged on the BGB website and submitted my recordings online.  I didn't take any photographs today as I was too busy counting and recording.  The cats can go out now!

Update: I went out for a walk later along the Tyldesley Loopline footpath near my house and also saw Coal Tits, Blue Tits, House Sparrows, Goldfinches, Robins, a Bullfinch, a Chaffinch, Magpies, Collared Doves, Woodpigeons and five Redwing.  Not a bad day's birding on my local patch.

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