Our big garden birdwatch 2021

Thursday, February 04, 2021


On Sunday we took part in the RSPB's annual Big Garden Birdwatch. Over the last three or four years our garden has undergone plenty of changes, most of which have been of benefits to our avian friends. Most significantly to us, the two enormous coniferous trees that threatened to one day fall and smash through the house have gone. (phew) They were a worry. Of course, you might think that would be a detriment to the space but having released a large amount of tree footprint from the shadows we now have a useable amount of space instead. There we have installed a pond, shrubs, perennial and annual flowers and a bird bath. The coniferous hedge along the back has maintained feeding and perching continuity. 

Secondly, there are a lot of bird boxes in place here and there of varying shapes and sizes. Plus we have three separate feeding stations of hanging feeders each with a mix of different foods and water. The stations are located in the open, under a tree and by the hedge to attract different birds. 

The birdwatch is an hour of keeping a note of the maximum number of each species that lands in your garden at any one time. Our feeders are usually kept fairly full and there's often a lot of birds to see so we were hopeful that our count would reflect our garden's popularity with the local birds.

Well, you can guess what I'm about to say. A lot of minutes of tumbleweed in our empty garden. It is baffling that as soon as you want to see anything then somehow they all stay away. The weather was fine, it was a sensible time of day, nothing raucous going on to scare them.... I was a bit annoyed again.

Our final tally doesn't sound too bad but there was not much action to show for an hour of observation.

1 Goldfinch

2 Pigeons (there's usually bloody loads, all making a noise and trying to get fruity in the branches)

2 Blackbirds (again, usually plenty, these birds are the tame ones round here and hang out for worms while we do the gardening instead of robins)

3 Great tits

2 Robins

3 Blue tits

3 Dunnocks

and a magpie that flew over but we can't count. 

I did anticipate seeing a starling, chaffinch, collared doves, crow (they ruin the feeders by their heavy landings and brutal peckings, I try to shoo them off).

Pictures of birds from yesterday when of course they all decide to hang about. Up the top, goldfinch enjoying the conifer seeds. On the bird bath, the song thrush.

We do get mostly blue tits and great tits nesting in our boxes, We know that blackbirds like our hedge and are fairly happy to be in close proximity to us. Last year sparrows nested in a box at the front and a few years ago a chaffinch family nested in the red robin bush. 

Let's see what this spring brings!

Take care,


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