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Talkback: Big Garden Birdwatch 2009

We have been very happy to see chaffinches, greenfinches, our resident Blackbird, Robins and Blue Tits. The following I think we have are Great Tit and Coal Tit. These birds enjoy the seeds and peanuts we have in the feeders.

I have just turned all the boarders over and created a new boarder and the Robin has been having a feast.

In the young Oak Tree in the garden next door I noticed two birds the size of the Blue Tits (not sure if they were) were chasing around the branches but swirling up and down them.

We have had some Blue Tits looking at our nest box. It has been up over a year but never been lived in.

My husband and I enjoy looking out onto our garden with all the coming and goings and used the dry weather on Saturday to do some tidying up. We have 2 Westies that the youngest spends her time just sitting under the confiers watching them come and go feeding.


  • I had my best-ever BGBW on Sunday, seeing almost every species I've ever spotted in my garden, plus a couple of extras.

    I saw 3 wood pigeons, 2 blackbirds (1 male and 2 female but only 2 at once so I only counted 2), 6 starlings, 2 robins, 1 dunnock, 1 collared dove, 1 blue tit, 1 song thrush (only the second time I've ever seen one in my garden I think so I'm most grateful to her for showing up at that particular time!!), 3 Long Tailed Tits, 1 coal tit and the new ones were a magpie and 2 carrion crows. All in all a great hour - most enjoyable!

    I've had one blue tit-style nest box up for a while now but it's not been used yet so I might move it. I also have a robin-style box and a house sparrow terrace waiting to go up - just got to find the perfect spots for them in my relatively small garden!
  • We took part for the first time this year - there were a couple of species missing from our usual visitors - collared doves and greenfinches, and we usually get at least 5 goldfinches instead of just the 3, and only 1 wood pidgeon as opposed to 3 or 4. I'm pretty sure it was two different robins, but as there was only one at a time, we couldn't count as 2. But the blue and great tits, sparrow, chaffinch and blackbirds, even the solitary magpie, made our hour spent worthwhile.
  • Had a lovely time watching a pair of robins out of my kitchen window.They are sizing up my passionflower as a potential house to build their nest.Isnt it a bit early for this to be happening?Would appreciate any comments
  • I, like Sandra, have noticed that the Robins seem to have paired up already (and the blackbirds) and it does seem a couple of weeks earlier than normanl. As a general rule of thumb my old dad used to say that birds always paired up on Valentine's Day!
  • I really wish I could put bird boxs up but haven't anywhere high enough for them to be safe, too many cats in the area to take the chance, I have seen them many times lurking to catch any unsuspecting creature, I chase them away but they sneak back as soon as I go indoors. I really prefer the bird population.
  • Will want to put up bird boxes for this Spring. I understand you are supposed to place them facng in a certain direction - N/S/E/W?? Which is it if true??
  • Dawn, aim to site the nest boxes out of direct sun where the boxes could overheat during the day. Avoid a south facing position in direct sun. In preference choose an north, east or west-facing site.
  • I have had a visiting Gold Crest to the peanuts during January feeel so priviledged as I have not seen one in the garden for about 5 years however I suspect that she has been around but this particular cold weather has made her visitthee peants.
  • So, what did I spot in my hour of the Big Garden Birdwatch?
    Blackbirds 2
    Collared Dove 3
    Robin 1
    Bluetit 2
    House Sparrow 8
    Starling 8
    Chaffinch 1
    Woodpigeon 2
    Magpie 1

    Not a bad hour, but no sight of other regular garden visitors like Long-tailed tit, Great Tit or my favourite Song Thrush.

    With this cold weather now upon us, everyone should remember to put out fresh water for the birds, and top-up feeders.
  • We were away for the birdwatch weekend,so could not take part this year. We are really lucky to have a variety of garden birds, especially sparrows and blackbirds. I feed them at least twice a day, and get hours of pleasure watching their antics.
    Two main problems ... how do I get the bluetits to use the nest box, and how do I get the sparrows to nest in the garden. They used to nest in the flat roof space above our kitchen, but last year suddenly stopped. Instead of the numbers exceeding 20 at one time, we are down to about 8.ould the roof space have beome to contaminated with constant use? We can't get at it to clean it out.
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