Saturday, 26 January 2013

Wildlife Counts: Big Garden Birdwatch 2013

Greenfinch, one of the most colourful stars of the show ...

I wonder whether those of you who live in the UK have undertaken your 2013 RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch yet. The survey, which lasts an hour, can be undertaken at any time over this weekend.

I sat down by the window in our home this morning, and was pleased that despite the snow, most of the usual suspects showed up. Sadly there was no sign of the Blackbird or Wren, although I have subsequently seen the Blackbird. I also saw a single Starling, but since it flew on through without landing, it could not be counted. We have not yet been in this house for a year, so it was a particularly interesting survey for me.

We actually saw quite a few more birds than is indicated by the results sheet below. For this survey, you can, of course. log every bird you see if you choose to do so; but for RSPB purposes, you only submit the largest sighting at one time of a given species. This means that although I saw six Blue tits (well, two then two, then one, then one), I can only log one of the two-bird sightings (i.e. just the first pair and not the second - and not the single Blue tits), in case the other birds were actually not different ones at all.

My list below is what was submitted to the RSPB.

My actual list ran as follows ...

Blue tit ............ 2 then 2 then 1 then 1
Chaffinch ......... 1 then 1
Goldfinch ......... 3
Great tit ........... 1
Greenfinch ....... 1
Magpie ............ 1
Robin .............. 1
Song thrush...... 1
Wood pigeon ... 1 then 1 then 2 then 2 then 5

We spent the afternoon enjoying the area around Flatford Mill, the scene of many of iconic landscape paintings by John Constable. The RSPB has a small wildlife garden there (photo at end end of this earlier post here), the the folk in charge had set up telescopes and binoculars for the day of the Birdwatch. There was still a fair bit of ice around, but it was wonderful to see our first Snowdrop of 2013.

I shall probably do a separate post about our Flatford walk, since the snow scenes were so idyllic ... but I thought I would end this post with the bird we saw on our drive out of the village on our way home. It is, of course, a Barn Owl. My photos are just record shots as we were in the car at the time, and at some distance from the bird. However, we were able to stop safely and I managed to click the camera a couple of times.   

Barn Owl

Shortly after we arrived home, I noticed the moon over the snow ...


Em Parkinson said...

Lovely to see that snowdrop. No sign of anything here yet I'm afraid. I'll be doing my hour for the RSPB tomorrow. Lovely Barn Owl!

Mary said...

The snowdrops are so pretty! and the barn neat to get its photo! I guess we have the Great Backyard Bird Count coming up here next month. I get frustrated if the birds I see every day, don't show up the day I count. I usually count more than one day.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Wonderful to see the first snowdrop!

Amazing to see a barn owl, I've never seen one!

Nice list for Garden Birdwatch too,...