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RSPB Birdcount.

(42 Posts)
durhamjen Mon 27-Jan-14 17:12:10

Did anyone else do it this weekend?
Hopeless this year. Only seven birds in an hour. However, at least Spring could be on the way as there were three pairs, blackbirds, sparrows and woodpigeons. One solitary bluetit and that was it. Usually see at least a dozen sparrows. It was raining most of the time, but I tried for another hour later on when it had stopped, and there were even fewer birds.

merlotgran Mon 27-Jan-14 17:17:07

We did but like you it was pretty hopeless this year. Our faithful greater spotted woodpecker was on the nutfeeder but all we saw was a robin, a couple of blue tits, a crow and a couple of pigeons.

Horrible weather didn't help.

Goose Mon 27-Jan-14 17:17:54

I'm not sure why they pick January to do the Birdwatch. Every year I've done it the weather's been awful and all the sensible birds are snuggly hidden away, whilst I traipse around in the pouring rain and wind trying to spot them. All I saw were a few bedraggled wood pigeons and a couple of other brave folk grimly hanging onto soaked clipboards and hopefully scanning bushes and treeshmm

merlotgran Mon 27-Jan-14 17:23:56

You're good, Goose. We stood at the kitchen window. grin

Goose Mon 27-Jan-14 17:58:03

I do my yearly stint in the local park - there's too many cat's lurking in my garden for any life loving feathered friend to risk coming near itsad

annodomini Mon 27-Jan-14 18:02:50

I had a multitude of bluetits on my feeders. Difficult to count them because they fly off and come back so frequently. At the moment the collar doves are very active - lovey dovey! Perhaps they sense the approach of spring. hmm

ffinnochio Mon 27-Jan-14 18:46:47

IF I lived in the UK, and decided to do the bird count I would have seen this afternoon: two green woodpeckers, 4 blue tits, too many to count sparrows, 3 hungry wood pigeons and one other bird I couldn't identify - which was small, soft brown/grey and v. sweet.

Charleygirl Mon 27-Jan-14 18:50:06

The birda have vanished from my garden.

Humbertbear Mon 27-Jan-14 21:28:07

We've given up doing this. The birds always avoid our garden on the day

NfkDumpling Mon 27-Jan-14 22:32:45

Gave up trying. Two visiting dogs made sure the resident sparrows had moved to next doors feeders and the weather was foul. Only saw one dunnock and two blackbirds all day.

tanith Mon 27-Jan-14 22:37:57

Same here I had visitors too but the birds were almost non-existent with the rain and storm that came through as I was about to start. I gave up.

durhamjen Mon 27-Jan-14 23:31:24

They do it in January because then you know how many have got through the winter, and they have not started nesting yet.
Last year there was thick snow on the ground, so they needed to come to the birdfeeders. This year the weather was a lot milder, but windy, so they could stay in the woods.
I always have one or both of the grandchildren that live round the corner. This year it was my grandson, 11, autistic, so to get him to sit still for about an hour is a feat in itself. We sit on my bed and look out of the window, with birdbooks for him to go through and binoculars so he can try and count the feathers on a sparrow. Yesterday we had a discussion about what bird a vegetarian would want to come back as. Obviously he was thinking about Grandad, who would not want to be a blackbird as he would have to eat worms. We decided that Grandad could be a goldfinch, and grandson could be a greenfinch as that's his favourite colour. Even though grandson eats fish, he would not want to kill them, so could not be a kingfisher or osprey, not that we get that many of those in our garden!
It's amazing how much information you can get into your grandson's head in an hour. He could have forgotten about it today, but he does have the sort of memory to remember facts. He just does not know what to do with them when they are in his memory.

NfkDumpling Tue 28-Jan-14 08:39:02

But at least nowadays he's in with a good chance of being taught how to manage and cope Jen - especially with you as his nan.

NfkDumpling Tue 28-Jan-14 08:42:04

This morning the sparrows are back - two mobs, one each end of the hedge - there are three blackbirds eating apples, a couple of dunnocks and assorted tits in the walnut tree. In two minutes watching. Should I cheat and do my bird watch now?

durhamjen Tue 28-Jan-14 12:21:43

Would you feel good about cheating, though, NFK?
Surely the whole point of the bird watch is to find out how few birds there are. If you all say I did not bother because there weren't many birds it defeats the object. I saw loads yesterday morning, but today it's raining again, so they've all gone and hidden somewhere.

Tegan Tue 28-Jan-14 12:43:54

I hadn't realised that the best food for birds is grated cheese? Must put some out with the apple. Also realised that I buy cheap bird seed and they say it's mostly pigeon food and you need to buy god quality stuff [mind you, the pigeons wolf that down as well].

durhamjen Tue 28-Jan-14 13:05:45

Pigeons are birds and need feeding too.
On Winterwatch they asked viewers to put out cheese and apples. The birds ate the cheese but not the apples.

Tegan Tue 28-Jan-14 14:02:21

My blackbirds love the apples. I don't mind the pigeons having food, it's just that the smaller birds need it because oftheir tininess [I've got several wrens in the garden] and they just gobble it all up in a matter of seconds sad.

durhamjen Tue 28-Jan-14 14:42:56

I threw the windfalls into the herb patch for the birds to eat after they had been blown off the tree. It's definitely the blackbirds that have been eating them. Maybe the people that watched Winterwatch do not normally have blackbirds.

Tegan Tue 28-Jan-14 15:15:05

They seem to like the apples to be cut in half [or maybe mine are a bit fussy!]

annodomini Tue 28-Jan-14 15:16:41

If I put an apple out for the birds, I suspend it on a piece of string from a tree. They seem to like it.

Galen Tue 28-Jan-14 16:16:04

The local robin loves cheese. The blackbirds eat the windfall apples. Or is it the worms in the apples they're after?

apricot Tue 28-Jan-14 18:21:37

Very few birds here but I'll send off the pathetic list. My blackbirds love cut-up apples but I've had to stop putting out food for ground-feeders since getting 2 young cats. Their predecessors didn't hunt and the blackbirds knew they were safe. Not any more, sadly.

NfkDumpling Tue 28-Jan-14 18:25:04

Jen if I'd have filled in the survey on Sunday when kids and dogs had driven the birds into hiding it would've been a false reading when we have around 30 sparrows for 350 days of the year. I abstained.

cactus60 Tue 28-Jan-14 21:11:34

I did it and found few birds in my garden, but a couple of crows were preening each other, the doves were paired up and I saw 5 starlings and as starlings are supposed to be under threat I was pleased to see them, also two pairs of blackbirds so looks like I will have some babies in my garden in a few months. Have a large hedge so they all nest there.
My birds don't like peas pud, as the humans don't like it thought the birds might lol.