Big Garden Birdwatch 2020

I’ve done mine:

  1. Red Kite – 1 – low over the garden and looking down (I’m counting it!)
  2. Jackdaw – 4
  3. Starling – 9
  4. House Sparrow -12
  5. Chaffinch – 8
  6. Goldfinch – 6
  7. Blue Tit – 3
  8. Great Tit – 1
  9. Dunnock – 1
  10. Magpie -1
  11. Collared Dove – 2
  12. Wood Pigeon – 1
  13. Bullfinch – 1, a male – the star bird.

Fifty birds of 13 species. That’s pretty good for our garden. A Bullfinch is a rare sighting. No Robin or Greenfinch (regular) and no Blackcap or Reed Bunting (seen occasionally recently and often on BGBW days in the past) but it would be odd to see everything in an hour.

This one hour is good fun, and as part of a national wildlife experience it is also of some value in the data collected. Let’s not overstate the value of the data but the BGBW did point out the decline of Song Thrush before traditional monitoring schemes confirmed that decline, and the changes in House Sparrow and Starling numbers are very well recorded by BGBW – as are the increases in Ring-necked Parakeets and Red Kites. So, it’s fun and has some value in checking bird populations.

Remember to send your data in please (don’t tell anyone, but I forgot one year and have felt guilty ever since! Shhh!).

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10 Replies to “Big Garden Birdwatch 2020”

  1. Spent all day at a Garden Centre in the Birdy section handing out BGBW forms and encouraging visitors to take part. Spoke to approx. 200 lovely people. Tomorrow at a Bird Reserve hide helping to collate a count with visitors. So Monday morning for our garden hour. Hope to get somewhere near your count Mark, unless the first bird is the sparrowhawk!

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  2. I'm not happy with mine.

    One flipping coal tit.

    I mean, I know negative results are still results and still valuable data, but emotionally it is less than satisfying. I blame the weather.

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  3. A bit of a poor day here due to the thick fog which was making hunting easy for the sparrow hawk. 66 birds of 11 species. Most of that number came from my resident house sparrow flock that are pretty much impossible to count at the best of times. I took a photo last year where you could count 70 but only managed to count 30 today. Sadly there's no option to just put 'lots'. No show from several regular birds which would have added at least 5 more species. We did have the biggest flock of goldfinches I've seen in months though which was great.

    I always wonder why the count is restricted to one hour though? If it was a specific hour it might make sense but one random hour over three days seems like it's designed more at getting people involved rather than getting accurate pictures of garden bird populations.

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  4. Not much on a damp Edinburgh morning. Highlights were a plastic peregrine on a nearby block, a pair of tethered trainers flung high into one of our trees and my wife heading off to the shops. There was a first from the kitchen window though, a hen harrier heavily disguised as a grey heron. Best bird was a redwing - the berries are long gone but there's an individual that feeds on the grass right outside the flat.

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  5. Out beating yesterday,so put some of last night's Haggis out this morning, which the Blackbirds
    appreciated. Miserable weather but a fair count, nice to see Greenfinch still holding up (6) after
    their recent recovery, likewise House Sparrow (12).
    I wondered what old Dennis, a previous occupant of my house would think, the sparrows used
    to drive him mad, destroying his Peas, his gun was always at hand in the Spring.

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  6. Can't believe how many birds you get. Presume it must be to do with being at least 5 miles from open country here in Sarf London. Don't even get chaffinches - ever. Bird list in/over garden ever: Woodpigeon, crow, robin, blackbird, thrush, tits: blue, great, long-tailed, gs woodpeckers, jay, dunnock, wren, magpie. Have seen goldcrest a couple of times, and just once a sprawk(f), and once recently a nuthatch. Some gulls come over & town pigeons. How feeble is that? Pretty sure I've never even seen a jackdaw. That's in five years. Nature deficit disorder here. What is it? Air pollution, noise, light pollution? All of them? We're deprived.

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  7. oh, you're a townie unless you agree with all their ridiculous and/or bloodthirsty ideas. Location has nothing to do with it!

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