Sunday, 29 January 2017

Jan 29th Norwich

The Big Garden Bird Watch 2017
It is the annual Big Garden Bird Watch Weekend this weekend and for this year, it has been extended to three days. This Saturday, Sunday and Monday, thousands of people are recording how many birds enter their garden within an hour and sending their results to the RSPB to find out how the population of our garden birds have been doing this winter compared to previous years. Today, as I don't have a garden myself, I helped out with two surveys at two different gardens.

My parent's garden
First up was my parent's garden. The weather was good this morning as I sat with Mum and Dad in their conservatory with breakfast butties in hand while waiting for the birds to arrive. The hour started at 9:15 am and ended at 10:15 am, but it was a rather slow hour bird wise. There were birds everywhere but in the garden where it mattered as we couldn't count the ones flying or sitting in the trees outside our garden's boundaries, which included redwings! They were so close to being counted, but it didn't matter how many times we prayed for them to enter our garden, they just didn't. In the end, our results were; 2 blackbirds, 1 blue tit, 1 robin, 1 woodpigeon, 1 dunnock and 1 chaffinch. Pretty poor compared to previous years, but it could have been better if they all decided to not tease us in the surrounding trees behind the fence.

Female Blackbird
Blue Tit
Male Blackbird
Redwing (Which did not enter the garden!)

Aunt Barbara's garden
 The second survey was at my Aunt Barbara's house. With myself, my parents, my aunt and her little dachshund, Austina, there were plenty of eyes to spot the birds than I've ever had before for this survey. From 11:00 am to midday, we waited and waited for the first bird to appear. It wasn't until halfway through the hour when we finally saw something, a male blackbird. Then in the last 15 minutes, we had a jay and then a woodpigeon and that was it. Compared to last year (which we had 19 birds of 10 different species), it was not as productive, but at least it wasn't like my survey in 2013 here, where I saw nothing at all!


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