Sunday, 25 January 2015

RSPB Big Garden Watch 2015

This weekend was the RSPB's Annual Big Garden Watch, the world's largest wildlife survey, which has been tracking changes in the UK's garden bird population for 36 years.  I treated myself to a giant cup of tea and settled down for an hour to see what I could record.

My garden is near some diverse habitats - a city centre, small woods, and a river, so I've been lucky enough historically to see a large variety of birds, often flying low overhead:

Peregrine Falcon with extra wings

... and sometimes enjoying the berries from our holly tree:

Redwing enjoying a holly berry

But with the Garden Watch, the 'rules' are to simply count the maximum concurrent number of each species seen in (not over) the garden in an allotted hour.

A few of the usual suspects were of course around - Great Tits, Dunnock, Blackbird and Robin.  I was also lucky enough to get my first ever photo of a tiny Wren, and a reappearance of a female blackcap, which I had first seen late last year.

Blackcap (female)

Blue Tit

Wren

And just beyond the garden, I saw 10 Magpie in a tree - but only one popped into the garden for the hour.

A tidings(?) of Magpies

In the allotted hour, I wasn't able to record any sightings of other frequent visitors to the garden, like Nuthatch, but maybe next year!

More details of the birdwatch are available on the RSPB's website.