Monday, 28 January 2013

Big Garden Birdwatch

Yesterday I took an hour out to sit and watch the birds as part of the Big Garden Birdwatch.  The birds I saw were

Blackbird at the feeder - keeping an eye out for the competition

Willow-tit (or might have been Marsh-tit - I find it difficult to tell the difference)
Greater Spotted Woodpecker

A Blue-tit waits its turn at the feeder

A very enjoyable time, apart from the sleet and wind.  It is interesting to see the results of everyone's bird counts that are collected by the RSPB and the difference in data over years.  Some bird species seem to be declining, while others are growing in number and they are keen to find out the reasons why.

A pair of Bullfinch make a fleeting visit

It is anyway a wonderful excuse to be quiet and watch wildlife in the garden (in my case at my worksheds) and learn more about each bird's habits and character.  I was thrilled to see the Bullfinch - a pair flew in and landed on the dock stems and pecked at the seed sprigs - but the bird which I enjoyed watching most was the Dunnock.  Rather secretive and well camouflaged, it bobbed and flitted about feeding and hiding in the branches or hopping on the ground, skittish on its thin pinky/orange legs.

Dunnock perching unusually close

It also surprises me how much energy some birds expend on defending their spot - there are lots of spats around the feeders and on the bird table - the Robins are very argumentative and feathers do fly in the squabbles.  Blackbirds too, who stand guard over their meal, swooping in on other Blackbirds, who dash off full and loud  alarm calling their frustration.

Long-tailed tits at the feeders

Thankyou all you birds for visiting my garden and being so lovely to watch!


  1. Love the photo of the dunnock. We sometimes geta gs woodpecker but not this weekend and the long tailed tits didn't oblige either.

    Marsh and willow tits are difficult to tell apart I guess the best way is to listen to their calls.

    1. Thanks Sue, so much depends on the time of day you choose - and the day, I think. Something I am working on, bird calls - a lot to learn and birds are masters at throwing their voice somewhere they are not!

    2. I'm not good with calls either I know some but then you get some that have more than one call.

    3. I tried one of these audio tapes to learn some sounds, but didn't get along with it at all - went too quickly. Much prefer to be outdoors looking and hearing. Have you ever used them?

  2. Your Dunnock looks like a wren.

    1. It does Ellen, and behaves like one too - although it is a bigger bird than our wren - it does the funny flitting and flicking of wings and bobbing as the wren does.

  3. Hi, Jennifer. Enjoyed your photos of winter birds. As it's springtime in Tunisia (albeit a bit cool and damp), I've been noticing the many bird calls and songs that go with the season.
    best, nadia

    1. Thankyou Nadia

      At the moment the birds are beginning to burst with songs of Spring and at the workshop all day I had Buzzards mewling - not sure what all the noise was about though.


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