One of our news stories today is from BTO commenting on the much heard lament, "why weren't you here last week for the garden birdwatch!" It has been noticed, pretty much everywhere, that with the colder weather and snowy conditions gardens are teeming with greater numbers and species of birds than last week. Read what BTO have to say here.
We've been grumbling along with many other watchers. On Sunday at approximately the same time as our official birdwatch the previous week and whilst not logging every every bird in half an hour we estimate we saw around a dozen goldfinches, 15 house sparrows an even mix of male and female, six or so tree sparrows, ten long-tail tits, six blackbirds, interestingly four were male and only two female, also five brambling again more males than females. One song thrush, a regular visitor but failed to make the proper count, our regular three robins, a couple of wrens and several dunnock plus the usual wood pigeon and collared doves. An exciting 'extra' was a redwing desperately searching the cotoneaster and holly for any remaining berries, it gave up and hopped about under the bird feeders with the blackbirds - I'm not sure who was more surprised. Although there were tits around there were not as many we thought there would be and the great tits were conspicuous by their absence but the marshy-willow tit (I know BTO have a wonderful new ID video but the blithering bird won't stay still long enough to see if it has a white spot on its upper bill, so marshy-willow it stays!) flitted back and forth between feeders and hedge.
Not to mention so many chaffinches and greenfinches they were impossible to count - so perhaps it was just as well we did our birdwatch last week.
Perhaps RSPB could organise the weather for next year's count to be nice and cold and maybe a little snowy just for the weekend you understand!