Whos keeping an eye on me....

Monday, 31 January 2011

RSPB big garden bird count

For over 30 years, the RSPB have been asking supporters to count the birds in their garden for one hour over a specific weekend during late winter. During this time, more than 3 million hours have been clocked up watching and enjoying the birds that visit our gardens (that's more than 380 years worth of info!), and every year, over 6 million birds are spotted and recorded. These figures go along way to understanding the trend of species that are indecline and those that are prospering more.

Of course the hrs watch is only a snapshot of whats going on, its great to get the kids seeing whats under their noses too but also its a quick indicator of how some species have fared after the winter cold.

I did my hrs RSPB Big Garden birdwatch on Saturday 08.45-09.45:
A Hard frost overnight should have had the early birds flocking by the dozen up and down the UK:

In order of appearance:

Greenfinch 6
Blackbird 2
Carrion Crow 2
Robin 1
Starling 15
Lesser Redpoll 21
Blue Tit 2
Chaffinch 3
Woodpigeon 4
Siskin 3
Goldfinch 2
Mealy Redpoll 1 this is its 7th week as a daily visitor and is a county rarity!
Magpie 1
Housesparrow 4 (these live in the roof of our house! I think we have 10 so 6 stayed in doors)
Dunnock 1
Fiedfare 1
Wren 1
Feral Pigeon 6
Collared Dove 1

Some garden regulars didnt show during my hours recording, species such as Coal Tit, Great Tit, Jackdaw while the Greater Spotted Woodpecker turned up shortly after the results were sent in.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Redpoll upon Redpoll

They continue to come.... Lessers and the single Mealy. A garden record count of 42 arrived at the feeding station mid week although I am certain I missed even more high up in the trees. The milder weather is now slowing the feeding down after the initial early morning burst, with more natural food available only a handful are staying around and about for any length of time, of course as the day draws on the main flock come back for a top up before going to roost.

Mealy Redpoll

Lesser Redpoll

If I am really lucky they should stay around until very early April before flying back North.
All the images are from the garden weekend of January 29th & 30th 2011

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Garden Weekenders

A few images from the garden from this past weekend:

Male Greenfinch




Lesser Redpoll

Monday, 17 January 2011

Garden species

Poor weather and an inability to get out walking during the last week has meant trying to get just a few images from the garden species.  A good variety of winter finches along with the ever regulars have kept the garden lively and me busy topping the feeders up daily.

The now regular (and hopefully until early April) Lesser Redpolls have been visiting in huge numbers and have certainly been the highlight over the last week or so .... this fella looking splendid in gold

but small numbers of Siskins have now started to arrive giving a nice contrast to the Redpolls on the feeders.

The normal garden regulars are still in good numbers with around 25 Greenfinch visiting most days

while this winter Black Headed Gull is flexing his muscles over the garden

and at last the Mealy Redpoll has returned although getting an image has proved tricky so I will have to make do with this very poor effort. It does show the difference in ground colour and size to the aptly named Lesser Redpolls. This bird is a scarce visitor to this part of the county so it has now been recorded by the Cheshire and Wirral Ornathalogical Society (CAWOS)....... how about that for a garden visitor!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Wirral wanderings

A day on the Wirral to firstly get a few waders onto the new year list, but also to add a new species to my life list. Species No. 214 duly obliged when I found 14 Bewicks Swans at Shotwick fields on the Deeside Industrial estate, unfortuantly I didnt bag any Whooper Swans for the year list.

a quick trip to Heswall shore brought a few Golden Plover, Wigeon and Teal. I alwatys think that this part of the shore looks a bit sad with the old rotting boats

Further down the coast at Thurstaston 1000s of Pintail and Black Tailed Godwits were a little way out on the low tide 

arrived at New Brighton just before sunset and bagged Grey Plover, Dunlin, Ringed Plover,Knot and Redshank

during the course of the day the other usual stuff made an appearance and some made it on to the camera.....

24 species made it onto my 2011 year list
Bewicks Swan
GBB Gull
Black Tailed Godwit
Golden Plover
Mistle Thrush
Herring Gull
Grey Plover
Ringed Plover
Little Egret
Grey Heron

Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Year..... Garden List

First day of the new year brought 25 species to the garden or as fly overs the garden. No images for a change just a list of some of the highs..... and a few lows

A male Blackbird was the first bird of 2011. The highlight certainly the 6 Siskin that appeared in with a flock of around a dozen Lesser Redpoll. The winter Pied Wagtail returned, as did a single Fieldfare on the apples, while 2 Redwing took shelter from the rain in the trees.

The pair of Robins fought with a single visiting Robin over territory, while a Wren spent much of the afternoon foraging in and around the patio.

The lows: The male Blackcap that has been a regular for December did not show, nor did the county scarce Mealy Redpoll.... Mistle & Song Thrush are noticable absentees also.