Friday, January 30, 2009


My RSPB Birdwatch results:

Blackbird 4 - Blue Tit 3
Chaffinch 5 - Coal Tit 2
Collared Dove 2 - Dunnock 2 (AET)
Goldfinch 17 (SEVENTEEN) - Great Tit 2
Greenfinch 2 - House Sparrow 19 (NINETEEN)
Longtailed tit 0 - Magpie 0
Robin 1 - Starling 20 (TWENTY)
Thrush 1 - Wren 1
Jackdaws 2 - Redpoll 2
Feral Pigeons 3 - Female Blackcap 1

Replays to be held on the week starting 20/1/10

It's not surprising that goldfinches, starlings and sparrows come out on tops. We support a great colony of goldfinches with feeders constantly replenished with nyger seed and sunflower hearts. Despite reports of their decline, starlings and sparrows have always been numerous in these parts. They eat the bread and porridge we provide for them at a fierce rate.

There used to be many more greenfinches, but sadly their numbers seem to be in decline. Meanwhile, blackbirds are doing very well, not just in the garden but in the surrounding district. Maybe the damp weather provides them with plenty of slugs and snails to eat. The male blackbirds are healthy and round, and are already attacking each other prior to the mating season.

There are a few thrushes around. These were once numerous, but declined sharply, and now their numbers seem to be recovering. Maybe the cats decimated them.

My favourite visitor to the garden, a male sparrowhawk, did not put in an appearance. He alights and hops around on the cherry tree as the little birds take cover in the midst of the hedge. I wonder what they are thinking as he searches for them? Is it like taking shelter in a cave as an angry lion prowls outside?

There were a load of redpolls earlier in the winter but now only a few remain. The female blackcap arrived a week ago and continues to hop around.

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