RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2011

It’s that time of year again where we can spend an hour just watching birds in our gardens.  This morning has been a glorious mix of watching birds and chatting to Alfie who has been helping.  Alfie watches and I count.  Cats can count, of course, but they choose not to tell us.

I chose 9.30 – 10.30 this morning.  It’s been a freezing weekend and the birds have been taking full advantage of the feed available.

There are certains times of the day when we get a huge influx of birds coming in to feed and mornings is the best time to spot everything that normally comes to feed.  This morning was no exception with most of the species coming in that I would expect to see.

Of course there are always a few gatecrashers to the party and the sheep this morning were right there on cue.  It’s a shame I can’t put the Ram on the count sheet because he was eating from the feeder I have on the wall which separates our garden from the field.  Technically he was in the field and not in our garden.

The other gatecrasher was a Black Headed Gull!  I’ve never seen one in the garden, nor overhead.  He/She didn’t stay long.  I wasn’t too sure which gull it was but my trusty book pointed me in the direction of a Black Headed Gull but in winter plumage.

I was really glad to see the return of Greenfinches to the garden.  They’ve been gone for far too long and I missed their gorgeous flashes of Lime flitting across the garden.  Last year I didn’t record any Goldfinch visits during the BGBW but this year they made an appearance.

Lovely to see the tiny Siskins too.  For the hour watch a lone female Siskin had her fill of sunflower hearts, darting off when something bigger flew across, then just at the last minute (well 5 minutes really) two male Siskins joined her.  They are so luminous with their colouring.  Gorgeous to see but very difficult to photograph!

As ever the visit by the Long Tailed Tits is special, they are so tiny with beautiful colouring and markings with these impossibly long tails, that is makes me feel really glad that they still choose our garden to visit.

I took photos throughout the watch and got some great close ups.  Sadly a bit “ghostly” in some but this is due to dirty windows.  And you all know by know that these horrible windows are being replaced next week.  So hurrah for clearer photos.

The list submitted to RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is below

Common birds

Blackbird              4

Blue tit                  5

Chaffinch             5

Coal tit                  1

Collared dove    1

Goldfinch            10

Great tit               2

Greenfinch         2

Sparrow               3

Long-tailed tit    7

Robin                    2

Scarcer birds

Blackheaded gull              1

Nuthatch                             2

Siskin                                     3

The photos can be seen here


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