Garden birds August 2019

This year I am keeping a list of birds seen in or from my garden.

August is a month of disappearing Swifts although I sometimes see them over the garden into September. The latest record so far this year has been 27 August. I wonder whether there will be any more over the next few days. If not, it’ll be about 8 months until I can look up from the garden and see the scythe-shaped Swift.

As we end August we are two thirds of the way through the year. There are relatively few evenings to be spent sitting in the garden as the weather gets colder and the evenings draw in.

But August added three species to the year list – and two of them were garden-lifers. I have to apologise for the first species, because I actually recorded it, by ear, back in April but it is only by checking my records that I realised I hadn’t added it to the list. Sorry! That species was Pheasant. The fact that it was added to the list is a testament to the far-carrying and loud nature of its cry. The fact that I didn’t remember it is a testament to how commonplace this non-native species is in and around our countrysde. Slightly spookily two species that I mentioned last month as being seen in August in the past were additions to the garden year list this August too: Peregrine Falcon and Sand Martin. They were seen within a few minutes of each other on the same early August evening just before a massive thunderstorm broke. The Sand Martins, both of them, just flew southwest up the Nene Valley towards Northampton but the Peregine stooped over some gardens a couploe of streets away and then appeared moments later flying back towards the church spire with a bird (Starling?) in its talons. Neither was a garden-lifer though.

Here is the list, so far, for 2019;

  1. Robin
  2. House Sparrow
  3. Jackdaw
  4. Blackbird
  5. Woodpigeon
  6. Starling
  7. Black-headed Gull
  8. Great Tit
  9. Red Kite
  10. Carrion Crow
  11. Chaffinch
  12. Goldfinch
  13. Rook
  14. Collared Dove
  15. Dunnock
  16. Wren
  17. Long-tailed Tit
  18. Blue Tit
  19. Common Gull
  20. Redwing
  21. Fieldfare
  22. Reed Bunting
  23. Greenfinch
  24. Blackcap
  25. Song Thrush
  26. Herring Gull
  27. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  28. Buzzard
  29. Pied Wagtail
  30. Stock Dove
  31. Magpie
  32. Green Woodpecker
  33. Mallard
  34. Sparrowhawk
  35. Coal Tit
  36. Swallow
  37. Cormorant
  38. Yellowhammer
  39. Swift
  40. House Martin
  41. Kestrel
  42. Raven
  43. Hobby
  44. Peregrine
  45. Sand Martin
  46. Pheasant

And I asked you to guess what the garden list total (ever) would be by the end of the year – for fun. It started on 56 species and I’ve added four species (Herring Gull, Cormorant, Yallowhammer and Mallard) this year to bring the total so far to 60 species.

So Paul Irving and Mark Hill might (if they are very competitive) want me to stop looking, but others may be willing me to get out there and see and hear more:

  • Paul Irving 60 species
  • Mark Hill 60 species
  • Murray Marr 61 species
  • Owen 62 species
  • Alan Cranston 64 species
  • Nick Bee 64 species
  • Darren Riley 65 species

There was no prize for being right! There so often isn’t!

What might September bring? Skylarks are usually October species for the garden – calling birds passing over. A migrant raptor is always possible. I’m surprised I’ve never heard a Meadow Pipit passing over – yet.

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5 Replies to “Garden birds August 2019”

  1. Yes Mark, I think you should stop now! no not really, nothing new in me being wrong. I added three species to the year list in the garden during the month, very strangely they included Peregrine and Sand Martin, the other was Marsh Tit.

      1. Paul - no Heron yet this year. I have been looking. It's time for a Little Egret to flyover too, I'd say. Dratted Mallard - corrected, thanks.

  2. You need to deadhead that Buddleia Mark, it will flower for much longer ( think of all those butterflies, hoverflies and bees) if you do!


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