Sunday, 30 January 2011

Big Garden Birdwatch - Day 2 - Location 2

I was full of excitement this morning getting ready for the Big Garden Birdwatch in my new garden. After seeing almost 50 species in the first 2 months of being in the house I was full of optimism, however it turned out to be hugely disappointing - I'm not sure if there was a Sparrowhawk sat on my roof for an hour, or a cat sat under my bird table but the birds just didn't come in the numbers that they were here in the previous days and week.

Anyway, to the birds... 2 Blackbird, 3 Chaffinch, 4 Greenfinch, 2 Starling, 2 Collared Dove, 4 Goldfinch, 2 Fieldfare, 1 Mistle Thrush, 2 Wood Pigeon, 1 Wren, 1 Robin and 4 House Sparrow.

Robin © Andrew Walker 2011

There are a couple of reasons I can think of for the distinct lack of birds today:

1. My neighbour who feeds the birds (for a lot of years) has been away since Friday so less food out in close proximity to my garden;

2. The neighbour over the way nearest the good corridor of habitat and the countryside edge put a ton of food out so birds didn't need to come so far; and,

3. A mild damp night with no frost in the gardens resulted in birds staying in the fields a bit more than they have been doing for the last week of so.

Whilst doing my survey I wondered about the validity of the Big Garden Birdwatch - good for getting people to count and look at the birds in their garden and no doubt helps with winter distribution and abundance etc, but probably open to a degree of error, for example, how many people waited until there was a good haul of birds in their garden before starting to count - would it not be better methodology to get everyone to count the birds at a set time, e.g. 09.30-10.30 etc? Just a thought.

Looking forward to seeing the result, despite being a little disappointed with my own haul.

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