January 31st- RSPB Garden Birdwatch 2021

The annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is always a pleasure and never more so than this year, knowing it was carried out in the company of tens of thousands of others. The annual frustration of not seeing the usual species I’m sure many will identify with! But this year was actually very representative of our daily garden birdlife.

Conditions were ideal with a low of -5C around dawn with the temperature reading -3.5C when I began recording. Through the hour I noticed several waves of feeding- it was actually rather quiet for about quarter of an hour after the initial feeding frenzy. Bramblings were perhaps stars of the show with 4 appearing in this rather lean year for the species. Our goldcrest duly turned up to feed on the fat spread on the branches of the Christmas tree. The marsh tits just made it on time, five minutes from the end! I decided to carry on recording unofficially to see how many species we could attract and we managed 26 species actually in the garden through the day with 23 recorded in the survey time.

Each time I take part in the Garden Birdwatch I think why don’t I do this every week? You learn so much about feeding habits and always see something new- for instance the nuthatch is a regular garden visitor here but this morning we saw one on the window feeder for the first time. The slight competitive edge to it can be thrilling, particularly if something different shows up in the last few minutes or seconds. Here are the scores in order of appearance for our garden in Gilling East, 8.30-9.30am.

Coal tit   2

Blue tit 5

Great tit 4


Brambling 4

Blackbird 8

Great- spotted woodpecker 1

Long-tailed tit   12

Nuthatch   2

Woodpigeon   5

Magpie   2

Carrion crow   1

Pheasant   5

Robin  2

Tree sparrow   6

Collared dove   1

Dunnock   3

Greenfinch   2

Wren   1

Jackdaw   1

House sparrow   1

Goldcrest   1

Marsh tit   1

Other species seen outside survey time, goldfinch, fieldfare and starling.

2 thoughts on “January 31st- RSPB Garden Birdwatch 2021”

  1. To my extreme surprise, after 59 minutes with a rather underwhelming selection of about 10 regular birds with several notable absentees, a completely new species for my garden list turned up, just in time to be counted: a Reed Bunting. It didn’t stay long in a bare tree, but more than made up for the 3 Goldfinches that waited till minute 61 to appear.

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