Yes this weekend is the RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch. For more info take a look here: http://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch/

It’s very simple to take part, all you need to do is watch the birds in your garden or local park for an hour, keep a count of which birds you see and how many and then submit the results online. Simple, fun and a great way to reconnect with nature.

I’ve lost touch a little with the birds in my garden, having moved the feeder down to the bottom of the garden, further away from the house. However I was pleasantly surprised by the range of species visiting. I topped up the feeders, scattered some seed and the leftover stale bread, installed myself in car (it’s closer to the feeder than the house is!), and settled down for an hour. Here’s my count:

  • House Sparrow: 5
  • Starling: 5
  • Blue Tit: 4
  • Blackbird: 3
  • Woodpigeon: 2
  • Collared Dove: 2
  • Robin: 2
  • Dunnock: 2
  • Magpie: 2
  • Long-tailed Tit: 2
  • Great Tit: 1
  • Goldfinch: 1
  • Coal Tit: 1
  • Pheasant: 1

A couple of surprises in there for me, most of all the Magpies, I had spotted a local pair flying around recently, but it was great to see them in the garden. I know many people dislike the Magpie, but I personally think of them as elegant and intelligent birds, and close up the iridescence of their plumage is quite beautiful. The single Goldfinch was a little disappointing, in last years birdwatch I had many more. The pair of Long-tailed Tits were a surprise too, always a delight to watch these birds. The Pheasant is a relatively new visitor, a handsome male bird with his brightly coloured feathers. I’ve seen him a couple of times, it seems he’s learnt where he can get an easy meal in a safe place.

It was nice to relax for an hour just watching the birds, I haven’t done that in a while! I think it might be time to start trying to photograph the garden birds again!