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Anyone doing the garden bird count?

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  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,010
    In the hour
    2 Blackbirds
    11 House Sparrows 
    1 Blue Tit
    1 Great Tit
    1 Coal Tit
    1 Starling
    3 Woodpideon 
    1 Collard Dove 
    1 Dunnock
    2 Robins
    2 Jackdaws

    This weekend
    6 woodpideon 
    1 Sparrowhawk
    4 Goldfinch
    1 Wren
    11 Starling

    When you count makes a big difference and can make some birds appear to be declining when in fact they are stable in numbers.



  • BijdezeeBijdezee BPosts: 1,484
    edited January 2019
    Lol wet and windy weather = no birds at all, not even a magpie. 
  • MayLaneMayLane Posts: 203
    Too windy. Just two robins who have spent all morning in the garden. Thought we would have far more. Normally at 0920 a gang of starlings decends on the garden followed by great tits and a few other birds. 
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,010
    That's the problem with such a short time span. I really think it should be over a week and then you would get a proper count of all the resident birds and their numbers. Its too easy to have a bad weekend and give the false impression of numbers leading to wrong assumptions. 
  • My birdfeeders are arranged to suit the birds, not me, and it is impossible for me to see all of them at once.
    Even the best view, of the terrace feeders, means birds disappear from sight below steps, behind pots or in the nearby shrubs. If it is a hungry day, there are literally dozens of birds, never still, jockeying for positions on the feeders, and more waiting in the trees.
    The only way to count them is with a photo, but if I stand close to the window for a good shot it is only too easy to scare them away.
    Different birds come to the feeders at the front and the back, and at different times.  Some, like the magpies and ravens and goldcrests, never come.
    I only ever see one robin at a time, but know there are more as they have different territories, and only get one woodpecker on the peanuts at once, but see Mr, Mrs and last year's juvenile.
    And what about the ones I don't see? Haven't seen any fieldfares this year and only a couple of reed buntings, probably because of the good summer and mild winter up to now. There was only one lapwing left  this year and never see or hear wheatears any more
    I just don't see how the figures I submit, following the rules, truly reflect my bird population.
    I love watching them though!
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,010
    I have " identified " my robins as if they stay still long enough they have different shapes to the line between the red and white/grey belly feathers. The resident male has V in the middle, his new mate has a light patch on the left with the rest looking more grey . He is easier to see as if I whistle he will come to feed, she is still shy.😁
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,404
    It's blowing a gale out there and just a few hardy souls coming to feed.  let's hope it quietens down this pm then.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 6,615
    I only ever see one robin at a time, but know there are more as they have different territories, and only get one woodpecker on the peanuts at once, but see Mr, Mrs and last year's juvenile.
    And what about the ones I don't see? Haven't seen any fieldfares this year and only a couple of reed buntings, probably because of the good summer and mild winter up to now. There was only one lapwing left  this year and never see or hear wheatears any more
    I just don't see how the figures I submit, following the rules, truly reflect my bird population.
    I love watching them though!
    Well hopefully the birds you don't see are in someone else's garden being counted. The more people that take part the better the representation of the population in your area will be. They won't analyse the stats garden by garden or year to year but rather as a broad picture of population trends over decades in a wide area around you. It only covers common garden birds so rarer stuff is noted but doesn't really form part of the main study.

    I have loads of questions about how they analyse the stats though and it's hard to get good answers. The main thing is to stuck to the instructions given and let them worry about the accuracy etc.

    Same bird count again today after the snow failed to appear. I had 1 more species and 2 more birds but my siskins and greenfinches failed to appear again. There has to be a better way to count sparrows. I know there's more than 20 but it's impossible to count more than that in one go. Maybe I should have chucked the seed in a heap on the lawn and see if they come down in one big flock.
    Unlike the brain, the stomach warns you when it's empty.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 8,355
    Well, l tried 20 minutes and nothing, so l thought l'd wait until later and try again. I did another 15 minutes and just had the one blackbird who saw me near the window and flew in with the hope of mealworms (he was successful !) Normally Mrs B isn't far behind, but no sign. I did another 15 and then another 10, but no luck whatsoever. Normally l would think l was unlucky and missed them, but the feeders remain untouched. I swear they know the count is going on, normally the magpies and pigeons are in before l have even shut the back door, and l usually see a Robin and a Wren !


  • Fran IOMFran IOM Posts: 1,506
    @AnniD I know exactly how you feel! I have just spent half an hour in a freezing cold shed with great expectations. There were fat balls, nyjer seed, sunflower hearts, peanuts and mealworms on offer but not ONE single bird came to feed on them. But my friend the robin made a quick visit so all wasn't lost! I can't understand it as normally regardless of the weather they are fighting for a place on the feeders. Will attempt another half an hour tomorrow and hope that they will make up for their absence today.
    If not it won't take me long to fill in the form.
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