Sunday, 31 January 2010

RSPB Garden Birdwatch

Just done our hour of birdwatching for the RSPB. Never taken part in this event before, although it has been going for decades. The idea is that you count the birds you see in your garden during a selected hour over this weekend, and enter the maximum number of individuals that visited your garden during that hour. So if you see 4 sparrows early on, then 2 later, you count that as 4, but if, later, you see 6, then you count that as 6.

We saw 4 blackbirds, 2 blue tits, 1 buzzard (admittedly only flying over, but I count that as 'feeding', so visiting), 2 collared doves, 2 dunnock, 9 house sparrows, 1 long-tailed tit, 1 redwing, 2 robins and 4 woodpigeons.

The blue tits have obviously already paired up, as they were visiting a nestbox built into a brick column. This struck us as a tad early in the season, but I imagine the tits know what they're doing better than we do! The redwing only visited for a short while, eating red crab apples, before a blackbird chased it off. I rather expect one species to largely ignore another, so was slightly suprised when I first saw blackbirds chasing redwings out of 'their' crab apple, but I suppose the blackbird is getting proprietorial about the apples, particularly as there aren't too many left.

And it really was very pleasant just standing in the bedroom window gazing out of the window for an hour, binoculars and camera to hand.

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