Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Big Garden Bird Watch and Versatility

This coming weekend I will be participating in the RSPB's Big Garden Bird Watch.  All you have to do is record the birds you see in one hour over the two days!  (full details here)  I've done this for a number of years now even though we didn't join the RSPB until a couple of years ago.  We have lots of birds visit our garden and I have three areas where I feed them.  

We have loads of sparrows!  They have done so well  here over the last couple of years.   I think it's because we have hedges and shrubs on two sides of the garden.  They particularly like the holly hedge at the top of the garden where they wait to be fed each morning sometimes flying across the garden and into the hedge as I walk towards it just as if they are vying to be first in the queue.  The hedge is a good refuge from the sparrowhawk that occasionally flies across the garden and sometimes lands.

We have a few blackbirds too.  One of the males is quite aggressive and chases the other birds away from the food!

The little robin sings every morning before I put out his meal worms.  He is always first in line for these although he sometimes loses out to a couple of magpies who drop by to see what is available on the food table.  I can hear him now, through the open bedroom window, singing as I type this post.

We are so pleased to have the song thrush back!  We had three the year before last and they did an excellent job of clearing the slugs and snails in the garden.  In the middle of last year there was just one and then it disappeared but it came back and it is still here - I haven't seen it for a while but my neighbours have.

This week I was very honoured to receive this blog award from both Elaine at A Woman of the Soil.  and Suzy at Rustic Vintage Country  Do go and visit their lovely blogs and whilst you are there you can also visit some of the other blogs they have given this award to.  Some of them are bloggy friends of old whose blogs I know and love, whilst others are new to me. Thank you so much for thinking of me, Elaine and Suzy! I have to nominate 7 other blogs that I've  just  recently discovered and that I have enjoyed and I also have to reveal 7 things about myself so here goes.  I have found lots of 'new to me' blogs whilst participating in the 'Photo Scavenger Hunt' each month so I'm going to nominate some of those.

Stand and Stare
The Diary of an Unremarkeable Woman
Stitch of Time
Little Blue Mouse
A Place for everything
Marmalade and Catmint
Bright Star
Seven things about myself

1) I love Museums and historic buildings infact anything historical especially relating to social, local and industrial history.

2) I love books, reading, libraries and book shops.

3) I love the theatre and have a huge collection of programmes from just about every production I have ever seen from about 1966.

4) I left school at 15 and did my 'A' levels at night school then studied for a degree with the Open University (History and History of Art) when I was in my 30s then about 20 years later did their course on Creative Writing.

5) I've been researching my family history since 1988 when you had to travel to archives and look at parish register books placed on a cushion wearing white cotton gloves to protect the pages. It is so much easier now most records are on the internet.  I was surprised to find I have Scottish ancestors on my mother's side.

6) A long time ago (c.1975) at the first Museum and Art Gallery I worked  in I sold a painting of a can opener from an exhibition we had in the gallery to the jazz musician George Melly who'd been performing, the night before, at the theatre next door.  He was thrilled with it and told me it would amuse the boys in the band who were then John Chiltern's Feetwarmers!

7) I have bronze, silver and gold medals in 'Disco Dancing' - I danced my gold medal set pieces to 'Eye to Eye Contact' by Edwin Starr, 'Enough is Enough' by Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand and 'We Don't Talk Anymore' by Cliff Richard.

Well, that's quite enough about me!  I hope you'll pop along and visit the blogs I've mentioned and perhaps have a go at the Big Garden Bird Watch as well.


  1. We have been very bird free this year, maybe due to mild weather? There again I do see a cat sitting in next doors garden, and one did get a pigeon last year. Hopefully they all come back in spring when its feeding time for the young.

  2. I'm terrible at taking bird photos, yours are so good.

  3. I participated in the Big Garden Brid Watch last year for the first time and was stupidly over excited now we have a garden that birds come to. However, I was VERY dissapointed when the results came through and I KNOW mine results weren't included. We saw a Black Cap and a Red Wing for sure and neither were in there - I did email the RSPB but got NO response. Rather dissapointing :(
    Good Luck

  4. My cat Tom loves watching birds but he seems to have scared off most of my feathered visitors. The only birds who are never intimidated are the wood pigeons!

  5. It is great that you have so many birds come to your garden Rosie. I don't put out any bird feed now as Gizmo will lay in wait for them! I have plenty of berries in the garden and pots of water so at least they can find something to eat and drink. x

  6. I've never taken part in the bird watch but if it stays windy this weekend and I stay in I might! We have hedges around the garden and we have hundreds of sparrows! It's hard to believe they're in decline when you look at our garden! We get lots of others too of course!

    I'm also stuck on two scavenger photos.. company and odd are all I need but I'm struggling!

    To reply to the comment you left on my latest post - Lud's Church makes a lovely walk and it's not that far from Roach End. We were out for about 3 hours including all the time standing around taking photos and a short picnic! It's really easy to find and it is signposted too. I could give you directions easily or guide you there one day!

  7. I shall be joining in on Sunday.We have loads of sparrows,blue tits,a robin,some blackbirds and every couple of days we have a visit from a bullfinch.I hope he comes on Sunday!

  8. I feed the birds throughout the winter. It is minus 5 degrees now and snow and the poor little things are as round as pompoms in their feather duvets.


  9. Weve been feeding the birds and are getting quite a few different ones back again. Your photos are really good - I can't get that close. x

  10. Lovely photos and well done on your award! Hopefully, fingers crossed, I'll be doing a different type of bird watching this weekend. Hubbyman bought me a weekend hawk walk for 1st wedding anniversary and we have had to put it off on several occasions due to the weather and also finding a spot on their busy schedule. I'm really looking forward to this. Suzy x

  11. WE always have a lot of birds in the garden as well though like Amanda we've had fewer than normal because of the mild winter. Goldfinches, nuthatches and long-tailed tits are among our daily visitors though. I rarely see a song thrush in the garden these days though, just occasionally one appears. There are lots in the woods locally though so they are fairly common in this area.

  12. We have similar visitors and are lucky to have lots of sparrows. I think they like the old hawthorn hedges, not everyones cup of tea I know but the birds appreciate their prickles.

  13. I have a poorly child at the moment so maybe I'll put him on bird watch. When it rained on Tuesday the pigeons were so happy they could bathe in the gutters, they looked so fat and scruffy with all of their feathers fluffed out :)

  14. We feed our birds too and have quite a few varieties come to visit. How do you get so close for your photos, they are lovely?

  15. This is a wonderful post. One good way of improving your bird watching experience is through providing bird feeders, which are devices that efficiently attract and provide food for the birds.