Sunday, 31 January 2016

Jan 31st Norwich

With it being the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend, it was time I did my part. The Big Garden Birdwatch is an annual nationwide count of our garden birds. Thousands of people take part each year and it is thanks to this survey that the RSPB has a clear picture of the state of British garden birds. Sadly, it is telling us that in recent years, many of the species are in decline. House sparrows, starlings and greenfinches are the most concern with some of the reasons still unclear of why. But with so many of us feeding them, it shows that we care and if we clean feeders daily to prevent diseases and putting up more nest boxes, we could boost their numbers very quickly.

Blue Tit
As I don't have a garden myself, I will help my parents and my Aunt Barbara out with the survey at their gardens. It means I have two surveys to do this Sunday. I began round my parent's house, watching their garden for an hour (from 10:10-11:10am) with my dad, who joined me half way through. It was raining lightly, but this did not put off the birds from visiting the garden. We managed to record; 1 great tit, 1 dunnock, 2 blue tits, 3 blackbirds, 2 robins, 3 woodpigeons, 2 long-tailed tits and, best of all, at the last few minutes, a jay! That is eight different species of bird visiting their garden. It was an improvement from last year's count.

After the hour at my parent's garden was over, Dad and I made the short trip to my aunt's house for my second hour of the survey. I usually don't have much success at her place, having spent an hour seeing nothing one year. This year though, we were in for a surprise as ten species of bird visited her garden within the hour (from 11:35am -12:35pm), beating the my parent's garden's score of eight in the previous hour! Despite my aunt's dog making a lot of noise, the three of us counted; 4 goldfinches, 2 woodpigeons, 2 collard doves, 2 blackbirds, 3 starlings, 1 great tit, 1 blue tit, 1 greenfinch, 1 wren and 2 chaffinches. There were also carrion crows and jackdaws in the area too, but they did not land in Barbara's garden. It is amazing to find out that there are more birds here than the short distance away at my parent's house, on the other side of Sprowston. But while we have recorded starlings and greenfinches, it is sad to not record house sparrows. This might mean that they are no longer found in the areas of the two gardens I have surveyed today.
Collard Dove
Male Chaffinch
Female Chaffinch

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