Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The (not so) Big Garden Birdwatch Weekend

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch was a bit of a damp squib at the weekend, in my garden at least. During the cold snap I was getting a reasonable variety of birds albeit small numbers. However the switch to warmer conditions overnight Friday/Saturday was like a switch turning off the birds. I did a count on Saturday and had just 2 Blackbirds, a Dunnock and a Pied Wagtail. The latter having started coming in during the cold spell and seemingly taking a liking to the meal worms. It is handicapped by some thread tied around its legs so this easy food source may be very useful to it. It manages to get around reasonably well but keeps pecking at the thread trying to free itself.

Pied Wagtail
A seemingly odd behaviour by the Pied Wagtail was the way it seemed to like standing on ice even when the garden was mostly snow and ice free!

In an attempt to get a more meaningful count I did another one on Sunday but only managed 2 House Sparrows, a Dunnock and the Pied Wagtail.

I would normally expect to see these species along with Robin, Starling, Blue Tit and Great Tit. During the cold spell Chaffinch, Fieldfare, Redwing and Wren were also seen. The most exciting visitor in recent weeks was a Chiffchaff which came through the garden a couple of times that I saw. I have never seen this species in the garden before.

Here are a couple of pictures of garden visitors this past week.

Female Blackbird