Saturday, 29 January 2011

Beautiful Birds (13): RSPB BIG GARDEN BIRDWATCH 2011

We sat down with mugs of coffee, camera and binoculars in our Swansea home in Wales, UK. The plan was that David would do the 'census' this morning and that I would spend my hour recording birds while we were out (along with representatives from the RSPB) in the National Botanic Garden of Wales this afternoon. The photo from home (below) was taken behind glass.

The Starlings gather . . .

Birds in our garden were certainly down on last year's count. Perhaps it was just the result of a cold morning (minus 7 degrees Centigrade at 8 am), but I fear it may be a true reflection of the damage wreaked by this unusually harsh winter as a whole.

The results of the survey from our home were as follows:

Sent from Big Garden Birdwatch Log  
My spottings:

Skylark.
Number Spotted:0.

Siskin.
Number Spotted:0.

Song Thrush.
Number Spotted:1.

Blackbird.
Number Spotted:2.

Dunnock.
Number Spotted:2.

Magpie.
Number Spotted:2.

Chaffinch.
Number Spotted:4.

House Sparrow.
Number Spotted:4.

Starling.
Number Spotted:20.

David also spotted two unidentified birds. The sun was low and right in our faces so it was hard to see some of the birds that flew in. The gulls and pigeons circled round but were not counted as they failed to land until our time was up!

We had high hopes for the afternoon, but were actually very disappointed with our recordings.

The Crow was happy enough, despite freezing conditions

Fun and games on the Ice

I love the reflection

The National Botanic Garden of Wales, hosting the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

Remnants of hoar frost in the Botanic Garden

Ice!

 In the whole of one hour in the Botanic Garden, I only recorded the following:

Blackbird.
Number Spotted:2.

Carrion Crow.
Number Spotted:3.

Robin.
Number Spotted:1.

Treecreeper.
Number Spotted:1.

To cheer ourselves up after a lean hour in the Botanic Garden (where, to our great delight, we had seen Lesser Redpolls on a previous Big Birdwatch), we drove home via the Larch that I am observing as my part in The Tree Year project. The creatures we saw in the vicinity of this tree will not count for the Birdwatch, but they really lifted our spirits, as you will see if you click to my next post when it is 'up'.  

if you live in the UK and have not yet undertaken a bird survey, you might like to visit the RSPB site and have a go before the end of the weekend. Happy sightings!  

3 comments:

leavesnbloom said...

Hi Caroline

I've yet to send my results in but I think I am going to survey again tommorrow morning. I was surprised at how few birds I had as I'm sure it was the same birds coming back into the garden.

I'm not sure if I could really tell the difference between a sparrow and a dunnock.

Randy Emmitt said...

Caroline,

Nice selection of birds, but not very many birds at all. One look at our feeders and the numbers would be around 100 birds or more. Does sound like fun!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Oh thanks for the link. We were slightly disappointed with how few different species we saw in the Edinburgh Botanics when we did the Big Garden Birdwatch though our friendly robin more than made up for that!