RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

Two weeks today (or yesterday or the day before) you might be doing the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. I will; probably listening to Desert Island Discs while I do.

It’s a tradition now that attracts around half a million participants each year. You can read what I think of it in the next Birdwatch magazine which should appear a few days ahead of BGBW.

This week the ‘best’ bird in my garden on a series of rainy days was a male Sparrowhawk which sat on the fence, leaning our way I thought, for 20 minutes or so.

There has been a male Blackcap seen in the garden every day since 4 January with a female too on one day and yesterday there were two males at the same time.

The question is – will there be Blackcaps in the garden all the way until BGBW and then will they deign to turn up on the day, or actually in the hour.

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11 Replies to “RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch”

  1. Is it legit. to wait for the Blaclcap (or in our case Siskin) to arrive and then start the clock running? You could even listen to DID on BBC Sounds at the same time!

  2. It’s always very enjoyable doing the BGBW. However as you say Mark, it can be a bit frustrating when you know you have had some good birds on ones feeders in previous days such as lesser redpolls and siskins and then they decide they don’t want to. turn up in the allotted hour. Nevertheless it is a fun hour.

  3. I don't feed the birds - too many trespassing cats around. One year I saw no birds at all in the hour and duly made a nil return. Now I usually wait until a feeding flock comes through - tits, blackbirds, robin and wren all tend to appear together, no doubt because there is safety in numbers - and then start the clock running. It's an unlucky hour if the magpies and woodpigeons don't appear and the flock of jackdaws feeding on the lawn can often be in double figures.

    1. Bob - not the ideal sampling method, but the good thing is that provided you do the same thing every year then that's more or less OK.

    2. Done this a few years ago was told I had lied as I had to many birds and 3 Male Robin's wont bother again

      1. Rooks and Jackdaws always here, most of time annoying Border terrier, i will just let them feed undisturbed for once.
        Too many Robin's is nonsense, in the hard winter 2009/10, from my kitchen window, i had at
        least nine in view at once.
        Have another go.

  4. My garden bird of the year (or since the Beast from the East) came and went yesterday morning.

    Cetti's warbler. Sat preening at the pond.

    (The beast ushered in a pair of snipe).

  5. What are your blackcaps feeding on Mark? Ivy berries or fat balls maybe - or both? You could put out some halves apples spiked onto anything off the ground or even buy some mistletoe whose berries they love!
    Hope they hang around for you.....we've had none here this winter so far despite a ready supply of apples and mistletoe berries!

    1. Nick - we see them on the ftballs but there is loads of ivy with berries and they spend time hdden in there too. Two males again yesterday. Daily sightings now from 4-17 January inclusive.


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