Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Big Garden Bird Watch

This year, as in previous years, we will be taking part, this weekend, in the RSPB's Big Garden Bird Watch. This is a huge survey that the RSPB have undertaken for the last 30 years. I think we have been joining in for the last five years. It is interesting to see what kinds of birds visit the garden and how they change over the years.

It is very easy to do, you just record how many of each bird you see over one designated hour at sometime during the weekend. You can download counting sheets from the RSPB and then enter the results on-line afterwards. You can do the survey in your own garden or in your local park. We usually do our watch on the Sunday morning in our own garden.

This year, the Guardian is joining in the fun, with a live blog and short video clips.

When we first started doing the survey we had lots of blackbirds, green finches and the occasional thrush visit the garden. The finches disappeared two or three years ago and we haven't seen a thrush for ages. We still have our regular sparrows, blue and coal tits, collard doves, wood pigeons, starlings and magpies.

New visitors to our garden this year have been Gold Crests who visited in the very cold weather to feed from the spruce trees.

Thanks to Paul for the photos - his camera is far better than mine for taking wildlife close ups, as those of you who visit his blog will know.


  1. We did the bird watch last year too. I'm looking forward to again ;-)

  2. Those are great photo's, I'm off to Paul's blog now for a nosey.

  3. I just love seeing the birds from the gardens in other places!! So different from the ones that are at this moment chirping at my window!! So lovely. Thanks so much for the photos!

  4. I think I might have a go at the bird watch too. Despite having a wildish garden and putting out bird feeders we don't have a big variety of birds in the garden. I mainly see starlings, blackbirds, wood pigeons and magpies. When I was a child, sparrows seemed to be more common than the pigeon!

  5. Your bird pictures are beautiful. I love to watch the birds and hear their songs, it is so relaxing ;)

  6. Ooh, what wonderful photos! What kind of bird is that in the first photo? It's beautiful.

    Have fun counting!

  7. Great photo's indeed. I am trying to make picture's in my garden, as you can see in my secret garden blog ,but I find it to be very difficult.
    On Sunday morning we do some birdwatching while we are having breakfast, and on the breakfast table there is always my camera..You never know when Miss Mouse comes to visit..
    Thank you for sharing..I am going to check out the Big Garden Bird Watch..and visit Paul.
    Happy Birdwatching Weekend:)

  8. Thanks for reminding me. Every year I think I would like to take part and then miss it.
    Can't remember when I last saw a sparrow. Seems such a shame. Unfortunately living near the sea the most common bird in this part is the seagulls. Here in Kent they are big seagulls. They can be quite scarey sometimes.

  9. I live just a few minutes drive from you but when I look at your photos its like another world. We have cat loving neighbours, hmmm....more a dog person myself. Still I'd like our garden to be more bird friendly. Saying that I've never known a garden to have so many butterflies, I just need to get those birds!

  10. I enjoyed doing the bird watch too, I would love some gold crests but don't think we would ever get them here, I have a feeling they like conifers don't they? We do now have a flock of yellowhammers which are such a bright yellow, they look like escaped budgies!

  11. Thanks for your kind comments everyone, hope those that did the garden watch enjoyed themselves

    Teresa, it's a Robin:)

    Valerie, hope you enjoy Paul's blog - I'm sure you will love the rabbit photos:)

    rosie - we have gulls flying around here too - in our local recreation ground it is strange to hear them so far inland:)

    fern, yes you are right they like conifers:)

    Thanks everyone for visiting:)