Thursday, 29 January 2015

RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch


Last weekend I volunteered for the RSPB bird watch.

Basically, you had to choose an hour, any hour - best to go for the daylight hours though - and sit, watch your garden and record all the birds you see visit.
This was going on all around the country, families, the young & the old all sitting and spying on their feathered friends - the birds of the UK must have all felt very uncomfortable, looking over their little shoulders with that itchy feeling - someone is watching.......

So, on Sunday morning - around 10:30, when Andrew decided to go off and loiter in the workshop, I grabbed a cup of coffee, my note book, pencil and binoculars - along with a bird book - just in case a rarity finds it's way into my garden and positioned myself in the upstairs window to watch........

It started off well - loads of the usual suspects - wren, robin, blackbirds etc but then after about 20 minutes I'd finished my coffee, my bum had gone numb and I was getting a bit fidgety - probably the caffeine - so I decided to carry on watching (and recording) whilst calling my Dad. It's was his birthday, so I thought .......... kill two birds with one stone - so to speak ...... (sorry Dad never a chore to call you)

I rang, wished him a happy birthday and settled in for a chat, when the garden suddenly burst into life, birds flew in from every corner and the poor man had to listen to me rattling off the birds and totally ignoring anything he had to say! ................. I know parents are meant to love and listen to their children but I think this was 'above and beyond' for him so with a final birthday farewell I was left alone again to continue......

Now sitting here for a hour, looking around, raised a few interesting dilemmas. When the birds are around it's quite exciting - if their in the garden - great -  it's easy to tick them off - but where do you draw the line? If the tree it's sat in, is in the neighbours garden, but the branch is over hanging yours, can you record the bird? I mentally tried to coax a pigeon into ours with little success, and if a bird has been in our garden, flown off and then come back can you record it twice?

When there's nothing going on, you get time to look at your winter garden and, in my case, cringe! I found myself promising I would get out there later and do a bit of tidying up, rake up the leaves, tidy away the old pots and spruce it all up a bit but that, in it's self, brings another dilemma. If I tidy up I remove lots of the things that attracted the birds in the first place - the seed heads, the dried leaves hiding bugs, slugs and snails etc........ so, with that thought, I appeased my conscience - I'll leave the garden for the birds!

The next little problem arose when the neighbour came home, with his new girlfriend, and I'm sat in the upstairs window with my binoculars trained on his fence.......well, I got a very funny look.......I wanted to open the window and explain, but that would have scared off any birds, so ........... I just waved!

...........may have to clear that up next week with him

My attention span was really starting to feel the strain so I grabbed my camera and decided to try and get a few shots for you - this provide a little testing - they don't stay still like my usual subjects!.....

But I did get a few.......



I was pleased with this one - a lovely little bluetit.......


But most ended up like this - if you squint bit you can see a nuthatch behind the catkins....


 And then there was this little chap - I have no idea what this is - could be a female robin - just not sure........

So that was my bird watching hour - when you think about it, it's a real luxury to be able to just sit for a hour on a Sunday morning, have a cup of coffee, no news and papers, no sport, no family - just you and the birds. Sitting and watching - waiting for the 'big one' to land - whatever that is!

...........................we did have a kingfisher visit our pond once - right in front of us - but did we have a camera or a bird survey to complete? ........ not likely!


Have a lovely Thursday and the weekend is in sight
Love Lizx