Thursday 22 January 2015

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2015

Regular readers of my garden posts will have noticed I mention the birds that frequent my little green space. I don't have any domestic pets but count my feather friends as pets. I feed them, water them provide nest sites for them and generally spend far too much time looking out of the window watching them. This weekend, 24th and 25th January, it is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2015 and of course you can count me in.
For the past 36 years the RSPB have been conducting an annual survey of birds in order to judge population trends and location numbers. It creates a vital snapshot of what birds are thriving and others which are in decline.
I often get told by people that no birds visit their gardens. I think many people don't stop and look for long enough to notice many birds. As I walk along the paths and roads each morning I can hear in the bushes and high up in the trees the sound of a myriad of birds singing away. You may not be able to see them at first but they are there.
If you really want to get the birds coming to your garden regularly you need to feed them. I change the feeds around according the season. At the moment the sparrows are going mad for the fat balls. I've even bought another feeder this week as there have been some fights breaking out. An empty feeder cage only cost £1 but it is such an easy way to get some high energy food into the birds at this time of year.
Over the years we have planted several trees and bushes to help with cover for the birds. We don't have a big garden. but we do have plenty of safe perches for them. Don't think that you can't have birds in your garden because you have cats either. I have plenty coming through my garden (mainly encouraged by me!). This week I have seen Panther, Millie, Thomas, Willow, Fake Tizzy and Ring Tail (some names have been made up since I don't know their real names). I keep the food high up and feather and fur seem to be able to live side by side.
As well as the food to tempt the birds we have several nest boxes. One got taken over one year by some wasps who made a beautiful paper-like nest for themselves in the box. Not a single wasp came into my house as they were far too busy with their own vital business. I bought a slate-roofed open feeder which a pair of blackbirds used as a shelter for their nest for two years. Last year they were beaten to the site by a pair of robins who had two broods.
I've made a list of what species have either directly landed in my garden or have been spotted on the house opposite this month:

Blackbird (male and female)
House sparrows (male and female)
Long-tailed tits
Collared dove
Wood pigeon
Black-headed gull
Blue tits
Carrion crow
If the thought of standing in the cold for an hour counting birds doesn't appeal to you don't worry. All the photographs in this post were taken in the last week through my patio window (including the snow of yesterday). So grab a cuppa and of course a slice of cake and get counting this weekend! 


  1. Wow you have seen a lot of birds! We have a feeder in our garden but unfortunately is doesn't get used much. Lovely pictures x #HDYGG

  2. No wonder the birds love visiting your garden, you've made it a very welcoming place for them :)
    We don't have many high branches to keep birds out of reach of the many local cats (including our own) but those that are high enough are currently laden with food. We'll be taking part in the birdwatch for the first time this year, the kids are really excited about joining in.

  3. Oh gorgeous - I especially like that last shot of the birds feeding in the snow! I must make some fat balls for the birds when I get back from Africa - for now they will have to make do with our warm toast crusts!
    Thank you ever so much for joining in again Jibbery Jabbery xx

  4. I'm going to do this at the weekend. Hoping it's not too cold so I can hang out the window with my camera! :) We are the same, no pets but we take care of the garden birds. Last year the young starlings went bananas for the fatcake. I put out a massive chunk and within an hour they'd taken it all away, couldn't believe it!

  5. Now I'm feeling really bad that I forgot about this again! Maybe well try to have a peek this Saturday-the weather looks OK. Our biggest problem is the cat though-she tends to frighten them all off!

  6. I've been very excited to take part with my kids in the Big Garden Birdwatch too! Must get some fat balls as so far we've had quite a variety but no sparrows. You should have seen my kids faces this morning when they watched a wild pheasant pecking away on the ground under our bird feeder platform!

  7. Wow they are beautiful. I have joined this event and cant wait to get into it! #hdygg

  8. That's a fair few birds you have there - we're not around both days this weekend or else we'd be out counting too - have fun! #hdygg

  9. In the past I have done the bird count but sadly now that I am in France my stats don't count. However I know we are really blessed with large numbers of birds here so perhaps I should do my own personal count one day soon.
    On a separate note would you be interested in joining this and any other of your bird posts you have to the #AnimalTales linky I host? Hope that's OK to mention here. Merci :)

  10. Thank you so much for linking up with #AnimalTales :)

  11. Excellent, we always partake in the big garden birdwatch but this year just moved to a new house so the birds haven't yet found our feeders so numbers were well down, I had to count flyovers a lot!

  12. Grace says - What a lovely post and you are so lucky to have so many birds visiting your gardens. They certainly won't go hungry when they visit your garden. Your photos are also very lovely too xx #animaltales


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