RSPB BIG GARDEN BIRDWATCH 2010

The weekend of 30th and 31st January 2010 is the weekend of the  RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.  I’m looking forward to taking part.

It only takes one hour of your time either on Saturday 30th or Sunday 31st January 2010

All you have to do to take part in the RSPB Garden Birdwatch is record the number of birds you have seen in the local park or in your garden.  This is the way you do it –

RECORD

  • The highest number of each species you see at any one time
  • Only record the birds that actually visit the garden or park

DO NOT RECORD

  • Do not record the total number you see during the hour as some birds may visit the area you are watching several times.
  • Do not record the birds that fly over head

See it’s as easy as that.

This survey really helps to find which birds are declining.

This RSPB birdwatch survey  will show which birds are declining and which birds are finding it difficult to survive.  If we have that information we can all find ways to help them

This is our survey. Yours and mine.  Take part and help our birdlife

Click on the link below to pre-register –

RSPB GARDEN BIRDWATCH PRE REGISTER FORM

30 thoughts on “RSPB BIG GARDEN BIRDWATCH 2010

  1. Trish Post author

    Hi, Glad the information was helpful. Yes, lets hope they do take an hour to count the birds. A lot of people do. If you do then let me know what you saw. Trisha

  2. Sue Hodges

    I have been amazed today of a flock of birds i have never seen before, they were eating the berries from a tree opposite my house, i couldnt make out there markings at first but later on i was in the front garden and they came back to get the last of the berries and i saw them clearly. i came in and looked them up in my Hamlyn bird book and found they were Fieldfair.Which is a large Thrush. There must have been about 30-40 birds, in my book it says they come from Europe and that small numbers have colonized britain mind you this book was printed in 1978. I live on the South coast in Gosport near Portsmouth

  3. RAY YOUNG

    LIKE YOU I SAW DIFFERENT TYPE OF BIRD ON MY HOLLY BUSH SO CHECKED MY BIRD BOOK AND FOUND THEY WERE REDWINGS. AMAZING.

  4. Phil Middleton

    Likewise, 5th Jan flock of 20 birds arrived on tree, rear garden. (Belfast Northern Ireland). Never seen the breed before. However identified on the 7th as ‘Fieldfare’. They stayed for 3 days from first light to dusk. It would seem that the flock have now moved on.

  5. Trish Post author

    Hi Sue, How lucky you caught sight of these birds. I would imagine that the frosts and snow have ‘locked’ up a lot of their food in the ground so they have to be braver and come nearer to us humans.

    Some Fieldfares come from Scandinavia and are winter visitors and migrate to Britain in October / November. They don’t nest here. Other fieldfares are European fieldfares

    Fieldfares eat animals and plants – so they eat worms or berries. Pleased your Hamlyn bird book is still useful. Trisha

    Hi Ray, These bird books come in useful don’t they. So you saw Redwing. I believe they often join flocks with fieldfares

    Hi Phil

    It seems the freezing snow and snow covered land is making the search for food harder. At least these birds found some food. Feeding for 3 days that would do them proud. I wish them well in their travels!

    Thanks for getting in touch. I’d like to hear more about any birds you’ve seen or how you come on at the RSPB Garden Birdwatch

    -0-0-0-0-

    If any of you would like to visit my birdtablenewsforum. I have renewed this forum after having a short absence – as a place to get together and discuss anything birdy.

    Trisha from birdtablenews

    Birdtablenewsforum

  6. mike inker

    i live at cv108bx and have 4 redwings in the garden (well in the tree at the back). i have a number of feeding sites and nesting boxes around the garden which may have enticed them here due to the exteme weather conditions. i know they are a winter migrant and are not normally found in urban areas. is this an unusual situation as they have been here quite a while. mike inker

  7. mike inker

    got the camera and cam corder set up – now counted 7 redwings – they are feeding off my fire thorn and also off the bushes of my neighbour but they always return to the tree in my garden.

  8. Trish Post author

    Hi Mike, You have redwings as well. Your garden seems to be a life saver for them. I think the frosts and snow have locked up and hidden their food. I suppose to survive they have to go in search of food – and have found it in your garden. So the extreme weather conditions have driven them to your garden and to your food. Bird feeding does work and help birds survive the winter. Trisha
    I have just restarted a birdtablenews forum where readers can meet and discuss. I have just restarted
    http://birdtablenews.com/forums/

  9. Helen

    Hi there, I have been housebound for 3 weeks following an operation so with the cold blast we’ve had I’ve been enjoying feeding the birds. I have got a number of feeders in an old tree and have been getting the usual visitors, but I had been getting a solitary fieldfair for the past few days. He seems healthy enough and spends most of the time in my garden, I identified him online and was surprised just to see a solitary one as it seems to be usually sighted in flocks. Interesting to see other people seeing this handsome bird.

  10. jim

    HI Iwas looking though my binoculars at my bird feeder and notice the bird on it was a black cap. is this unusualfor this time of year 10/1/2010

  11. Trish Post author

    Hi Helen, sorry you’ve been housebound. Hope you are recovering. On the plus side it has meant you have seen this fieldfare.

    Yes it is interesting that other people have seen fieldfares. It just shows what a harsh winter we are having and how birds are having to change their habits to get food. The bird food you are putting out must be helping this solitary chappie and it must be helping him survive through to the Spring
    I have a newish forum because I thought it would be a good place to gather together info and chat. If you’d like to visit this is the link
    http://birdtablenews.com/forums/

  12. Trish Post author

    Most blackcaps only visit in the sumer. But some blackcaps from northern and central Europe are staying here during the winter. Maybe this is because of the milder winters we have been having and the fact that there are bushes with berries and that we do actually put bird food out
    I don’t think I have ever seen a blackcap. Will have to find out more about them. Wonder if you will see on on the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch
    I have renewed my forum called http://birdtablenews.com/forums/
    Let us know if you do see one, or just visit and note birds you’ve seen. Trisha

  13. Ciaron

    Rostrevor Co. Down – I was surprised on Saturday 9/1/10 to see a strange bird searching through the undergrowth in my garden and amazed a short time later to see a flock of about thirty feeding on nearby hedges. I identified these as Redwings and then observed some Fieldfairs nearby. I have never seen either of these birds before. Whilst coming off Knockshee Mountain on Sunday afternnoon I came across 4 Lapwings feeding in the Kilfeghan area of Killowen, Co. Down. All in all it was a good weekend for watching birds!

  14. Trish Post author

    Hi Ciaron, How exciting to see a strange bird in your garden. So you have seen a flock as well. You will see from the comments that there are a few fieldfares and redwings in gardens.

    It’s true that gardens are a haven for many birds. As I’ve said before the frost and snow has locked up their food so they have to find food elsewhere. Hunger must make them brave.

    Lapwings as well – you are lucky.

    Will put this information on my birdtablenews forum http://birdtablenews.com/forums/

    Am wanting to keep all these sightings together. It’s something new I’m doing – feel free to visit.

  15. Molly

    Hi
    i have been watching the birds in the garden, and getting ready for the 2010 Bird watch campaign. In the last 3 days i have been visited by a family of 3 red-wings and to my surprise 2 Fieldfare, but within hours of the visit from the Fieldfare i looked out of the window to see at least 10 Feildfare or could have been 12, sitting in and old dead tree in the garden, what a shock!. As they are fruit feeding birds same as the Redwing and i don’t have berries or fruit in the garden, does this mean they were just passing or do you think they will pop in again? I was so pleased at seeing them, and did consult my books before i decided to write, but i am definate it was Redwing and a large family of Fieldfare, by the way i live in Devon.

  16. Trish Post author

    Hi Molly, I’m so pleased you decided to write.
    You say you come from Devon. Is your part of Devon covered in snow because I think the redwings and fieldfares food is locked in under the snow and ice. The soil is covered in snow and so they cannot get to any worms etc. This means they have to search further afield for food and cover.

    Looks like one or two have come first and then passed the word on that you have a good garden!

    Redwings and fieldfares do flock together. Fieldfares and redwings eat animals and plants – so they eat worms or berries and fruit, If you put out some cut up apple or pears. They eat Pyracantha berries off bushes and hawthorn berries as well.

    If you do put out any fruit it’s best to cut it up small first. I’ve also heard that they have been seen eating ground blend bird food.

    Trisha

    PS I think it’s a good idea to watch birds a while before taking part in the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch – gets you used to timing the hour and actually counting birds.

  17. Mike

    Trisha

    we have a pair of fieldfare disputing rights to my garden. My wife takes an active interest in our bird population, but I have been cool about it until my recent retirement. the fieldfare arrived about a week ago and immediately pounced upon the apples that my wife puts out daily for our resident blackbirds. sadly, our blackbirds are now paranoid about the fieldfare who sees them off at the drop of a hat. They also charge at our smaller birds who are posing no eating threat to them and we are getting concerned about their wellbeing. Not sure what to do.

    Mike Bristol

    Ps 2 of my daughters, one local and the other in Uxbridge have identical situations so there is clearly a large number of fieldfare in the UK.

  18. Trish Post author

    Hi, Fieldfares can be

    Fieldfares would usually be out in the countryside but their food is locked under the snow and ice so to survive they are coming to warmer urban places.
    Birds are competing for food which is in very short supply. Food is a life and death matter for birds as it is in such short supply – they seem to be competing fiercely – but they want to survive.

    This is very unusual, but this is an unusual winter.

    One idea is to spread the food around the garden. Perhaps we should buy a lot of English apples, cut them up small and scatter them on the garden so there is enough food for all the birds!

    Every bird is fighting for survival this winter. I don’t think the population of fieldfares has increased I just think that they are coming into our gardens to survive.

    They do eat seeds as well.

    Trisha

  19. liz

    i have been putting apple on the table in llangollen and i have had a fieldfair visit daily. i am new at this but i also have a song thrush blackbirds blue tits, house sporrow cole tits long tailed tits. and one yelow tit i think. the fieldfair was very happy with the apple with grey head and back chestnut wings and a yellow orange chest , white underneath and speckled like a thrush. he is chasing all the other birds away from the bird station. but is so nice to look at. i really do not mind just now. is he a rare bird. am i lucky to see him.

  20. Janet Macalping-Downie

    At 1155hours today 19th January 2010 I was a pair of Jays in my garden in Whitstable – the other birds gave them a wide birth
    Jan

  21. Trish Post author

    Hi Jan, The other birds gave them a wide berth did they? It seems jays often visit gardens in pairs
    Years ago I don’t think that Jays visited gardens much, but they seem to be coming for food (of course)

    They are very clever birds and can learn new ways of getting food very quickly – which is good if their usual food is scarce.

    I don’t think I have ever seen a Jay – but I see plenty of other birds.

    Thanks for getting in touch. Nice to here about it. Trisha

  22. samantha

    hi, today in our garden we had many diferenrent birds these are my best of them all.
    we had:
    2 great tits
    2 male and fimale black birds
    3 starlings
    1 thrush
    1 robin
    2 blue tits
    3 sparrows
    1 black collard dove
    and 1 greater spotted wood pecker

    we hardly ever gett any wood peckers until we put out the penuts we had more squrils we evan had mice stocking up for the winter.our garden is now bursting witth life

  23. Trish Post author

    Hi Samantha – A garden bursting with life. That’s a really good way to describe a garden.

    You’ve had similar birds to me – except I haven’t seen a woodpecker for ages. I do put peanuts out, but the birds get them.
    Thanks for telling me about all the birds you’ve seen. It’s a great way to take part in something that really helps the RSPB understand how birds are managing. Cheers. Trisha from Birdtablenews.

  24. Trish Post author

    Hi really glad you did look it up and really glad you found Bird Table News.

    A loner. Poor thing. Must be because it is different from the rest of the flock. Bet it was glad of the crumbs you put out.

    I don’t know if you have seen these notes I put on birdtablenews about the reasons why blackbirds have white feathers. If you click the link below you will see some of the reasons. None of the reasons are good reasons. If you find anything out please get in touch.

    http://birdtablenews.com/2009/02/some-reasons-for-birds-with-white-feathers/

    Trisha from Bird Table News

  25. samantha

    we carryed on watching and saw
    10 sparrows
    4 black birds
    2 robins
    1 chaffinch
    2 black collared doves
    and1 magpie

  26. Trish Post author

    Hi samantha, that’s a variety of birds isn’t it. Were you outside bird watching or can you watch from a window into your garden.

    We are lucky to have so many different birds around aren’t we?

    Trisha from Birdtable News

  27. mal wright

    For years I always had dunnocks in my garden and they had youngevery year, however this year I have neither seen or heard any. Is there aproblem with them.

  28. Trish Post author

    Strange you haven’t seen any. I don’t think there is a problem with them. Dunnoc ks are so small, and plain and they creep under bushes. A very timid bird, so I don’t think people notice them as much.

    You may be the first person to notice a reduction in numbers.

    I must admit, I haven’t actually looked for them,but am sure they are among the daily visitors to my bird feeders – I just take them for granted. I think my attention is caught by the sparrows, blue tits , blackbirds and other more jovial birds.

    I will ask the question on Bird Table News

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