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woodpecker big garden bird watch

Big Garden Bird Watch

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I love this part of citizens science and every year I get really excited to sit down for an hour. All i need to do is observe which of our feathered friends elects to pay s a visit. Big Garden Bird watch is the RSPBs annual plea for us to record the birds that visit our gardens.

We chose to carry out our survey of the local birds on Monday 27th February at 1:45, for one hour.

I made a bowl of soup and some toast then sat by the kitchen window with a copy of a bird book, a pair of binoculars and bags of enthusiasm.

Where we surveyed

Our house is next door to the secret campsite and we’re surrounded by woodland. Woodland is a great habitat for a wide range of species. It’s the perimeter of any space, the edges, where exciting things happen, so we get a good mixture of bird.

The first bird to arrive got me really excited, a Greater Spotted Woodpecker. I actually saw 2 of them. The bird recording process is to make a note of the most of any species you see at any one time. It isnt to frantically note everytime you see a bird. That would drive you cuckoo.

Who visited us

My list for the early afternoon was as follows:

Greater Spotted Woodpecker 2

Blackbird 2

Blue Tit 3

Robin 2

Woodpigeon 1

Crow 3

House sparrow 4

Dunnock 1

Great tit 1

Goldfinch 3

Nuthatch 1

Coal tit 1

Disappointingly we weren’t treated to our regular visitors, a small flock of Long tailed tits. Nor did the pair of collared doves that often pay us a visit bother to show up aand make us look more exciting.

We also dint get t see this charming little wren who was photographed at the campsite in the summer. This was a shame as we do have a little gang of them in the garden, and its a great photo.

Wren at the secret campsite

What is really great about the survey is that it encourges peopl to stop being busy for a few moments. Once we all slow down for a few minutes we start to see things.

In turn, this has the effect of connecting us with things that otherwise go unnoticed.