Thursday, January 25, 2007

All for a good cause

Now, did you know that this weekend is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch? All you have to do is sit for an hour sometime over the weekend, counting the birds that visit your garden. Not just hopping on the fence or flying over, but actually alight in your garden. You just count the largest number of any one type of bird at any one time, so if the largest group of chaffinches is eight, then that is the figure entered and so on. All the information can be found on the RSPB website,, so take a look.

I have done this for the past few years, with or without the children's 'help' and I do get satisfaction from taking part and providing useful information about my local bird population.

Or at least, I would, except for one thing.

The birds don't come to play when I need to count them.

I feed my birds, regularly, often daily, depending on the weather and they have a bird bath to boot. I put out allsorts, from commercial wild bird food, to apple cores and cheese scraps, but nothing too big, I don't want to attract rooks and seagulls. I do it all right, all year round.

But they know.

I can go for weeks with scores of chaffinches, greenfinches, blackbirds, sparrows, robin, dunnock, wrens, I even had a juvenile blackcap the other day. The siskins aren't around much because it's not cold enough, (!!?) but I have regular identifiable visitors.

They just don't like to stand up and be counted. One robin and a blackbird is not a true representation of the birds I get. So I didn't send my results that year.

This year I am determined I will have a garden full of birds, all varieties and maybe a visit from the sparrowhawk right the end of my count, so as not to upset the numbers too much.

They do know you know.

1 comment:

Anne said...

Ah well - that's because they visit me... well, the time I did it as a child (I think it was for RSPB - I came across it via Blue Peter) we had a skylark in the garden for about 45 of the 60 min. We had never had one before, and we never had one again - obviously skylarks are the drama queens of the bird world.