I’ve done my BGBW and it was fun!

Long-tailed Tit. Photo: Tim Melling

I looked out between 9am and 10am to record the birds I saw in my garden.

It’s a good ritual which brings hundreds of thousands of people together in a common activity and thinking about nature for a while each year.

My records were as follows; species seen in chronological order, and peak counts of individuals:

  1. Collared Dove 3
  2. Chaffinch 3
  3. Reed Bunting 3
  4. House Sparrow 8
  5. Blackbird 1
  6. Goldfinch 5
  7. Blue Tit 3
  8. Dunnock 1
  9. Long-tailed Tit 2
  10. Robin 1
  11. Jackdaw 3
  12. Starling 3
  13. Wood Pigeon 3
  14. Greenfinch 1
  15. Red Kite 1

Can I count that Red Kite? I saw several but one flew right over the garden, quite low, and I reckon it was looking down? I think it counts… What do you think?

There are a lot of ‘3’s in that list.

3 Reed Buntings is very good for my garden, but they are probably there all the time. It’s just that the single male is a lot more obvious among the House Sparrows than the two females would be. Today I was looking carefully rather than glancing out of the window now and then so I spotted them all whereas sometimes I wouldn’t. And I was keeping track of where they were so that I could quickly check that there were actually two females rather than assuming that there was just the one.

And a pair (they behave like a pair) of Long-tailed Tits is just a beautiful sight. They’ve been around for a few weeks but today I stopped for longer and watched them. Super birds.

No Wren, no Blackcap and no Great Tit this year. I expect I will see them all either later today or over the next couple of days – that’s often how it goes.

But great fun and I’ll enter the data online in a few days time when the rush has passed.

TM the PM ought to have ordered the whole Cabinet to have been doing BGBW and tweeting about it this weekend. Nature can bring us together, at least a bit, and at least for a while.

What did you see in your garden?

Reed Bunting. Photo: Tim Melling


8 Replies to “I’ve done my BGBW and it was fun!”

  1. Ours was also 9-10 today. House Sparrow top, with 9 birds max guess (its hard to be sure how many are in the bush and they dont even always flush at a walk-by) and 10 other species
    Blackbird 4, Blue Tit 4, Dunnock 3, Robin 2, Great Tit 2, plus Chaffinch (only 1 male), Long-tailed tit (only 1), Carrion crow, Pheasant, Collared, Dove.

    That pretty much sums up rural Cambridgeshire, I reckon and is pretty typical of the regulars in our garden.

  2. Did mine yesterday morning, Big Garden Birdwatch for 26th January,
    20 species;
    Mistle Thrush 1; Blackbird 7;Blue Tit 6; Great tit 5; Coal Tit 1; Long-tailed tit 2;Chaffinch 17; Brambling1;Goldfinch 16; Greenfinch 3;House Sparrow 37; Dunnock 2; Robin 2; Starling 5; Collared Dove 22; Wood Pigeon 4;Magpie 2; Jackdaw 2; Jay 1; Great spotted Woodpecker 1;
    Third day on the trot that Brambling has shown with the chaffinches. This is pretty typical for my Kent garden, though the Mistle thrush was a bit of a surprise as they do not come in as often since a neighbour from hell cut down their favourite Holly tree!

  3. I started at 10;25 and saw
    feral pigeon 12 (living in the adjacent cliffs and likely making me the neighbour from hell, but people are too polite so say)
    Goldfinch 12
    Chaffinch 23
    blackbirds 3
    Sparrow 12
    Starling 22
    Dunnock 1
    Greenfinch 1
    As usual, I did not think the count was typical. What happened to the Robins and Tits? Where are all my Greenfinches, now returning?
    I have long hedges inches from feeders in my medium size garden, overburdened with feeders. I try not to guess the species lurking there.
    I had the usual problem of submitting the results online but did eventually manage. I’ve previously had to wait a few days.
    At least I did not try to record birds flying over or sitting on adjacent lamp posts, always a temptation.
    Cold, gale force winds and heavy rain in suburban Aberdeen. The sea looks awful when it appears in the mist with huge waves.
    Someone else must be attracting most of ‘my’ Goldfinches today.
    Still, an enjoyable hour spent by us.

  4. Out of the window today I didn’t see 1,3,4,8,11,12,15. But I did see pheasant, partridge, GSW, other types of tit, you know – the small ones with black caps, and er … that’s it. If I actually leave the house so I can actually see some sky, I will expect to see buzzards, the odd kite, large black corvids that fly in pairs and go “kaarkk”, fieldfares. If I wait until it is dark and drive slowly along the tracks I expect to see woodcock standing in flooded potholes. Why do they do that?

    1. Surprised not to have seen a nuthatch today – usually rather bossy first peckers at fatballs and peanuts

  5. First time I have done it here in Wales did 09:30 to10:30 ( lazy morning as its also my birthday today) Blue tit 11,Siskin 13,Great Tit 6, Coal Tit 3, Robin 2, Dunnock 1,Long Tailed Tit 3, Nuthatch 2, Treecreeper 1, Blackbird 5, Pheasant 9,Chaffinch 5 and Goldfinch 1. No House Sparrows, Sparrowhawk or Magpie today which is unusual. We only get Starlings when it snows.
    Also took the dog out afterwards and kept note for Birdtrack. Raven 29,Buzzard 15, Goshawk 1F( first time I’ve seen her this year it been her mate most days), Mallard 13, Red Kite 1,Jackdaw 10, Rook 3, Robin 2, Crow 6, Bullfinch 2, Heron 1, Wren 1,Mistle thrush 3, Goldfinch 1, Blackbird 1, Cormorant 1,Stock Dove 3, Wood Pigeon 1, Teal !. It was a good soaring day!

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