So the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is complete! I hope you all had a wonderful time identifying and counting the birds and wildlife in your gardens or local parks.
This year I completed the survey at my in-laws house who live further out of the city. Last year, at my childhood home, the birds played a trick on me and decided not to land, meaning I only counted a handful of birds. I therefore wanted to see whether the location difference would affect my results. As you may know from my post about the Robin, my own back yard is pretty small and bird-less. I have a bird feeder and occasionally put out dried meal-worms, but do not want to encourage many birds as both of my neighbours have cats. Luckily though, my Birdwatch location had several well-used feeders out ready, so it was as simple as pulling up a chair to the window, getting comfy with a cup of tea and waiting for the birds to arrive. The hour ‘flew’ by and I managed to record twelve birds in total (from the garden and surrounding trees): 1 great tit, 1 robin, 1 blue tit, 4 woodpigeons, 2 house sparrows, 1 female blackbird, 1 collared dove and 1 carrion crow. Throughout the rest of the day, many more birds landed in the garden including a wren, and the female blackbird returned on several occasions (she is a regular apparently). A plump squirrel also made an appearance and stayed long enough for me to take a few photographs!
© The lovely robin and squirrel who visited the garden during this year’s Birdwatch.
4, 383, 224 birds have been counted and submitted to the RSPB so far and I am really interested to see the final results from mid-February. The results will help the RSPB find out what wildlife is thriving and what is in trouble, ultimately leading to “action to put things right”. The survey started back in 1979 as a small children’s activity, but now has over half a million people taking part each year! With the 38th year of data now being collated by the RSPB, the insight into UK wildlife is more accurate than ever… and it has already provided some fascinating information, for example between 2006 and 2016, the UK song thrush population decreased by a staggering 98% whereas the UK goldfinch population increased by an impressive 89%. As of 2014, respondents have also been asked about other wildlife as well a birds in their gardens, so a greater picture is beginning to be painted UK-wide!
Did you take part this year? If so, what birds and other wildlife did you record?