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24/01/2014 at 19:11

Having an hour or so spare today (OH at dentist), I got on with making a supply of "Fruit & nut Chappaties" ready for this w/e Birdcount. Saturday looks favourite re: wet weather & high winds for Sunday, so as soon as it stops raining I'll get everything 'topped up' and ready for my welcome guests. Not forgetting Thermos flask etc for myself (I hide in the greenhouse which affords a good all-round view of the umpteen feeders in the modest garden).

24/01/2014 at 21:42

Hi All - Me too - on Saturday also!  I just love doing it and have now done it

for many years.  Speaking of birds, has anyone else ever been to see the

millions of starlings on the reed beds in the Somerset Levels?  I went with my OH

a couple of years ago and it was absolutely amazing!   I feel so sorry for all the

people on the Levels this year with the flooding - we were meant to be taking

friends there between Christmas & New Year but cancelled because of the

weather. Just wondering where all the starlings are going to roost there now

it's all under water - does anyone know?

24/01/2014 at 21:51

I shall be watching on Saturday, would be nice to have something other than parakeets to count, so fingers crossed.

25/01/2014 at 08:43

There are reedbed near my parents' home in Suffolk - at this time of year I try to time my visits so that I can park up and watch the starlings preparing to roost in the evening.

We've also watched a murmuration in the sky over Lowestoft; the starlings' roost appeared to be in the scaffolding on a large building near the harbour 

25/01/2014 at 08:47

Has anyone found a way of keeping them still so they can be counted?

25/01/2014 at 08:50

Superglue on the feeders Nut? 

25/01/2014 at 08:53

Good idea Dove. the tits and finches don't stay still for a moment

25/01/2014 at 10:15

Not many birds about this morning - far too damp and drippy  and I can't get on the RSPB website so I'm having to do it with a notebook 

And where are our starlings and house sparrows when it's time to count them?  Don't they know how important it is?  They're here every other morning 

25/01/2014 at 10:45

Hurrah, one of the starlings has made an appearance

I heard him calling and peeked out of a different window and there he was on the corner of the roof - they nest in the neighbour's roof but I've a feeling they're going to get the builders in to stop that - NDN's daughter has been staring up at that corner of the roof when she visits  - so by next year I'm going to get some starling nest boxes for under our eaves - and a house sparrow nest box too.  

25/01/2014 at 10:47

I know just what you mean Nutcutlet!  I had a flock of starlings came down onto

the bird table this morning, but it was impossible to count them as they were

constantly changing position and as others flew in, some flew off!  Have been able

to count one robin, two blue tits, two great tits, one thrush, five blackbirds, eight

sparrows and seventeen starlings (but there were probably about twenty five - they

just wouldn't stay still).

25/01/2014 at 11:01

I wish the sun would go in!!!  Never thought I would say that.  Was going to do the bird watch between 10 & 11 but the sun is straight in my eyes.  Just having a coffee and hope I can do it soon although haven't noticed many birds about.

25/01/2014 at 11:04

Well, that's my lot done:

Goldfinch  8

Blackbird 2

Wood pigeon 4

Collared dove 3

Crow 1

Blue tit 2

Robin 1

Starling 1

 

Most days there's loads more than that - and where are the house sparrows, Long tailed tits, green finches, chaffinches and great tits?  I can usually guarantee they'll be in the garden 

25/01/2014 at 11:04

rspb site is down i think; too much traffic! Will have to post the count later. Saw a Sparrow Hawk eviscerating a pigeon on the lawn this morning, lovely, just when I was eating breakfast

25/01/2014 at 11:21

The birds here have put in a request for a canoe to reach their food....

Mostly dunnocks, robins and blue tits here just now, although the magpies like muscling in on the act and I know I have great tits but they haven't been around so much. I get a  lot of starlings (too many for my liking - sorry!) The blackbirds are starting to find their way in now as they've been eating the apples I've put out. One was having a lovely bath in the wheelbarrow the other day!

25/01/2014 at 11:25
flowersforbees wrote (see)

I know just what you mean Nutcutlet!  I had a flock of starlings came down onto

the bird table this morning, but it was impossible to count them as they were

constantly changing position and as others flew in, some flew off!  Have been able

to count one robin, two blue tits, two great tits, one thrush, five blackbirds, eight

sparrows and seventeen starlings (but there were probably about twenty five - they

just wouldn't stay still).

I know what you mean about the starlings - they go crazy over mealworms!  Love the collective nouns for them: Chattering, affliction or murmuration!  However, I have my own - a squabble of starlings!

25/01/2014 at 11:27

Oh FG, are you flooded or just very soggy? You could send some starlings down to the Fens; only saw one the whole of last year I love watching them squabble over the fat balls and they always have that 'pulled through a hedge backwards' look about them which somehow reminds me of myself in the mirror

25/01/2014 at 11:40

They nest in the roof of a neighbour across from me  We had them in a building at last house too and they made such a mess. We had to block them out of it when we were selling the house - wasn't a good look on the fences! I'm afraid they're not my favourite birds. I rather like magpies though which many people don't. Horses for courses eh?

Not been flooded thankfully - the house is quite elevated. It does so much damage. We have high rainfall here anyway but even so, it's been excessively high this year. Last house had its own water supply from wells and springs, and even in normal heavy-ish  rainfall the excess ran out onto the road and made it look like a river running down the hill. Hate to think what it's been like this winter!

25/01/2014 at 14:40

Should have kept my mouth shut about the sun being too bright as it is now hurling it down with rain.  Managed to do the bird count though as follows:-

sparrows 6

starlings 2

blue tits 2

blackbird 2

chaffinch 1

blackcap 1

wood pigeon 1 

robin 1 

Normally the garden is packed with sparrows and every year when I do the bird count they disappear.  Now to do the RSPB online data input.  

25/01/2014 at 16:38

Forester, I also had the Sparrow problem, generally lots as with Chaffinch and neither turned up during the count today!

I did OK although couldn't deliver on 'dovefromabove's' wader but got close with Black-headed gull !!

So my results look like this...

Blackbird - 3

Dunnock - 1

Bluetit - 2

Starling - 3 (counted 55 in total if you could include the fly overs)

Sparrowhawk - 1 (this female bird actually did 3 passes over my feeders during the hour long survey!!!)

Robin - 2

Wood Pigeon - 3

Great Tit - 2

Crow - 2

Pied Wagtail - 1 (Unusual in gardens here)

Black-headed Gull - 6

Reed Bunting - 1 (usual number would be 3 - 5 birds)

Blackcap - 2 (Male & Female)

Goldfinch - 6

Collared Dove - 1 (low numbers for here)

Magpie - 1

Greenfinch - 4

Best

Higgy

http://higgysgardenproject.blogspot.com/

25/01/2014 at 17:21

There was a sparrowhawk here too, plus

1 robin

1 male chaffinch

2 female chaffinches

6 goldfinches

2 collared doves

1 pigeon

1 male blackbird

2 blue tits

1 male crossbill, though I am not certain it was not a redpoll.

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