27 January 2014

Big Garden Birdwatch

Although we've had days of heavy rain it has also been fine and clear so we approached this year's big garden birdwatch expecting to go cross eyed counting finches.  But just as the strains of Sailing By started out of the radio speakers it began not just raining but heavy sleet!  Armed with pad, pencil, mugs of tea and fresh waffles we were determined to count birds - even if we did have to keep demisting the windows!

The weather certainly affected the numbers which are lower than previous years and also less than at the same of day on any other day during the past week.
This is what we counted:

Blackbird - 1
Blue tit - 1
Brambling - 2
Chaffinch - 17
Coal tit - 1
Dunnock - 2
Great tit - 2
Greenfinch - 3
Robin - 1
Song thrush - 1
The wren may have been busy under the herb bed and amongst the pots but then again the little flash of brown could have been the back of the robin or a dunnock so we're not including her this time.
Notable absentees included both sparrows, goldfinches (who were there in great numbers earlier in the day), siskins, starlings and wood pigeon; these all visit daily but just not in the middle of a sleety blizzard apparently - and who can blame them?
Others who stayed away were the collared dove, nuthatch, long tails, the willow tit and our reasonably regular spotty woodpecker. 

We quite liked the idea of a commercial flight simulator as a desert island luxury, our first choice luxury of canine companionship is already disallowed so our list currently has options of a never ending supply of champagne (laurent perrier if we're being choosy), mountains of paper and pens / pencils and an updated tablet / tv stream of premiership rugby and tennis.  We're not sure the last one is permitted but then I doubt we'll ever be castaways so it doesn't really matter!