This weekend was the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch. I’ve participated since 2012, when feeding the garden birds helped me through a bereavement. Since then, I’ve seen some wonderful visitors to our urban yarden.
In 2012, two blue tits sparked my feeding frenzy and every day since then I’ve left seed out for the garden birds.
Steven the herring gull is a recent superstar of the yarden. He started visiting after the 1st lockdown in March 2020 and since then he has brought his spouse and six of his babies, along with him. He gets fed left over eggs, chicken, cat and dog food and fish. He is a very spoilt gull but my aim is to just supplement his food not be a replacement.
In 2012 I was amazed when droves of goldfinch charms began visiting the feeders. During the past years I have spent hundreds of £££s on sunflower hearts for these gorgeous and gregarious finches.
My favourite garden bird is the dunnock. Sporadically, over the years the yarden has been host to one or two dunnocks who are a joy to watch hop about the undergrowth.
Over the years swathes of starlings have alighted upon the yarden, devouring the fat balls on offer. Numbers of up to 20-30+ are not uncommon. Their delightful squabbling is a feast for the eyes.
David is a friend of the pigeon, once war hero, now lowly street scavenger. Hoppy was a prima donna among the pigeon superstars who frequented our yarden. Sadly she passed away in 2021 but her memory lives on to this day. She is buried under the honeysuckle and this spring will become a beautiful crocus.
This January 2022, the yarden has been eerily silent. Where there were large charms of goldfinches feasting on sunflower hearts, only a lone bachelor visits. I’m not sure what has happened to my visitors? Is it the impact of the avian flu epidemic or have they just found better feeding grounds? Sadly, I am not so excited about this years RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, though being my 10th anniversary, I should be celebrating. Here’s the data from my 2022 Birdwatch.
I did the count 11am to 12noon on Sunday 30 January 2022. The weather was cloudy but mild and then gradually became calm and sunny. It was a very quiet garden birdwatch. Over the hour all that visited were the regular pigeons, Steven the gull and a curious magpie who was on the look out for monkey nuts. I knew this years birdwatch would be my worst to date, there just isn’t the variety that usually visits, which makes me feel sad. A lone goldfinch, robin and two blue tits all visited afterwards, which didn’t sweeten the mood.
If you participated in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, how did your count go?
Thanks for reading,