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The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch (with a video !)


This weekend was the Big Garden Birdwatch which is an event by the RSPB where thousands of people watch their garden for an hour and count what species of birds they see. I'm a member of the RSPB and I done this for years now although often my results weren't very interesting.

Anyone in the UK can take part: here's the link !

I did mine this afternoon. You have to count the most birds of each type you see in one go. Here is what I saw (with a time-lapse video at the end !) Above are some of the birds I usually see on my birdtable. How many do you think I saw today ?

Chaffinch (biggest group seen was five)

I see chaffinches all the time on my bird table. They are beautiful birds who mostly eat nyger seed and ordinary bird seed from the feeders. The males are bright coloured (like above) and the females are a wee bit duller.

A nyger seed feeder has a narrow slot where only some finches can get their beaks through. The chaffinches beak is too bit big so they look for the discarded seed cases that other finches have left behind.

Goldfinches (biggest group seen: 2)

Goldfinches are bright and beautiful birds that only eat one type of seed, nyger seed. They use their thin beaks to take the seeds out the feeder then crack open the seed casing and eat the inside. I didn't use to get any at all until I put up a nyger feeder. Now the most I have seen at one time is three, but today I just saw two of them. They didn't mind other chaffinches on the feeder but they would nudge each other out the way, and one would rest on the tree while the other one fed.

Blue tits (biggest group seen at once: 2)

Blue tits are small and brightly coloured, and they mostly go for the fat balls and the nuts and the loose suet treats too. They are scrappy birds who will fight others to get food.

Robin (biggest group seen: 3)

Robins are small with a red-breast. They are not scared of humans but they fight other robins for territory and they can peck each other to death. They usually go for the normal seed, the fat balls, and today they liked the loose suet pellets on the birdtable. Two of them had a big scrap which you can see on the timelapse.

Starlings (biggest group seen at once: 4)

Starlings are medium-sized black birds with beautiful patterns on their feathers. You usually see a few at once and they sit at the top of my tree singing. They mainly eat the fatballs and the nuts.

Collared dove (Only one seen)

Collared doves are like well-dressed pigeons. You normally see them in pairs but I just saw one today. They feed on seed from the ground and don't like the handing feeders.

House sparrow (just one seen)

I normally get lots of sparrows and they usually come in large groups, but I only saw one today.

And birds I normally see but didn't today....

I expected to also see today:

Blackbirds: but these feed on the ground and it is covered by snow at the moment
Greenfinches: I usually see one or two a day on the nyger seed
Great tits and coal tits: there are usually one or two
Bramblings: I have seen some of these since the weather has been cold, but not today

Here's a time lapse video shot from my bedroom window of some of the birds I saw today:

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