Tuesday, February 08, 2011

RSPB Garden Birdwatch 2011

Each year after participating in the RSPB Garden Birdwatch, I always like to do a comparison on the four main seed eating visitors. Of the four, I would say that the Goldfinch is the most frequent visitor with totals up to 15 sometimes recorded (only 6 during the birdwatch). This is certainly due in some part to the two Nyger seed feeders, and also the state of the weather. On damp days numbers increase quite substantially compared to dry days and it must be due to natural seed bearing sources remaining tightly shut under these conditions. The BBC Wildlife magazine pointed this fact out in reply to a question on Siskins visiting garden feeders in damp weather.

Unfortunately, there were no Greenfinches seen this year, and since 2004 they have become conspicuous by their absence. House Sparrow numbers are just about holding up as are Chaffinches (only 1 during the birdwatch) - normally 5 or 6 are seen.

The highlight of the birdwatch this year was when my wife Bron said there were several Starlings on a TV aerial in the distance waiting to come down to the garden for their usual suet treats. On closer inspection I could see that these Starlings had grown crests on the back of their heads and were in fact Waxwings. This is a first for us to actually see them from the kitchen window (all 32 of them), but sadly we cannot count them as technically they did not come down to the garden.

Here is the submitted list seen on Sunday 30/01/11 between 10:20 and 11:20:

Blackbird - 2, Blue Tit - 2, Chaffinch - 1, Collared Dove - 1, Dunnock - 1, Goldfinch - 6,

Great Tit - 1, House Sparrow - 6, Pied Wagtail - 2, Robin - 1, Song Thrush - 1,

Starling - 11, Wood Pigeon - 4.

13 Species, 39 Birds.