Friday, 29 January 2016

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2016

Long-tailed tit

I have rather neglected my blogs recently in favour of other activities and demands, but it is time to get back in the saddle and prepare for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

I am guessing that Blue tits followed by Long-tailed tits will take the leader board in my neck of the woods. But we shall see. I am pretty sure that a fine Sparrowhawk swooped over the fence yesterday, so there may be other surprises in store. The Jay was here last week, seeing to its autumn cache, and the Greater Spotted Woodpecker (female) has been around intermittently. The Dunnocks are back and the Wren has been very active. There are two feisty Robins at present and a pair of Blackbirds. The local charm of Goldfinches puts in an occasional appearance, and Wood Pigeon numbers are on the rise. There are also the other usual suspects - Magpies, Carrion Crows and Starlings. 

The Grey Squirrel has been a little tinker, stealing the fat balls as fast as we hang them on the Silver Birch. There has also been a large black and white cat to add to the excitement ...

Do see if you can take part in the count this weekend. Chris Packham reminded us last night on BBC Winterwatch just how valuable the amassed data can be. Juliet, aka Crafty Green Poet, has written an excellent post here with the Birdwatch details. Happy watching! 

P.S. You may find it interesting to watch and see not only the species that come, but also how they are behaving. When we lived in South Wales, the Long-tailed tits seemed very shy around humans, preferring perches at the top of very tall trees (Poplars, I seem to remember). Here in Suffolk, our Long-tails are much more relaxed. They chitter away in small flocks in front of our window and show little fear when I am at relatively close range, regardless of whether the sliding door is open or closed. 

9 comments:

Crafty Green Poet said...

What a lovely photo of the long tailed tit, Caroline! Hope you see lots of them this weekend! Thanks for linking to my post

eileeninmd said...

Hello, pretty bird. Good luck with the bird count. We will have our backyard watch in February!
Happy Friday, have a great weekend!

Bob Scotney said...

Will have no such luck up in the North East. The wind and rain this December/January appears to have driven all the small birds away. Gulls are our most common sighting lately, followed by rooks - even the ubiquitous wood pigeons are fewer in number this week.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Sad I'm going to be working, I still don't know who is eating my fat balls!

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi Caroline my first visit to your blog ... I have seen you on both 'CGP'(Juliet's) and Eileen's ... so thought I'd pop across and have a read!

Lovely picture and the RSPB Bird Watch is usually very well supported, so it should be very good - I certainly hope so.

Good wishes for a Happy Weekend

All the best Jan

Caroline Gill said...

Thank you, Jan, for your kind comment: what a useful blog you run with your team members. The recipes look mouth-watering.

Ragged Robin said...

I shall be taking part too :) Although I suspect it will be a low count this year (although this can be as valuable for research as a high count I tell myself!!) very few birds in the garden this winter or on the feeders!

Angie said...

All set here to count tomorrow afternoon Caroline. The woodpecker and sparrowhawk are intermittent visitors in my garden and it would be nice to have them pop through for the count. Good luck with your count.

Julie @Dragonfly Gems said...

Lovely photo of the long tailed tit Caroline. I did the birdwatch on Saturday.. I had a woodpecker turn up on Sunday.. shame he didn't come whilst I was doing the birdwatch. We had a sparrow hawk land briefly in the garden last week, by the time I'd grabbed my camera it had flown off. Hope your count went well :o)