Monday, 30 December 2013

BTO Winter Thrushes Survey

Yesterday, I did  my core square (NZ4622)  for the BTO Winter Thrush Survey. Despite all the recent bad weather, Sunday was sunny with no wind, so ideal for looking for Blackbirds, etc.  


Last year, on New Years Day only three Blackbirds were seen so I was hoping to see more. As you can see from the updated map, the birds were certainly using the square.


To most surveyors a largely industrial square does not appeal, but I always welcome a challenge to find birds within unusual habitats and hidden areas will are useful wildlife corridors.

Highlights were as follows:
Point 5 - a single apple tree with fallen fruit below provided the local birds with a good food source. Five Blackbirds were counted.

Point 9 - all of a sudden four Redwing appeared overhead and also in the trees & bushes along with three Blackbirds. A total of eight Redwings were counted here.

Point 10 - five Redwings and three Blackbirds were perched in the trees enjoying the warmth of the sun.

Point 11 - seven Redwings were perched in small bushes enjoying the sun.

Point 12 -  ten Blackbirds were counted in roadside Hawthorn trees with last berries that were of poor quality.

Point 13 - 30+ Starlings were seen dropping into the gardens, presumably taking advantage of kitchen scraps.

Total - 29 Blackbirds, 20 Redwings and 30+ Starlings.

Friday, 27 December 2013

BTO Summary for other Garden Visitors

I first joined BTO Garden Birdwatch in the 4th quarter for 2010. Each week, we have recorded other garden visitors, such as amphibians, butterflies, bees and mammals. It is recognised that our gardens are very important spaces for our wildlife and are a major source of food and shelter for a wide variety of species.

Scarcer Species
Number of weeks observed
(out of 158 web weeks only)
Reporting Rate
111
0.70
44
0.28
34
0.22
34
0.22
32
0.20
29
0.18
27
0.17
24
0.15
23
0.15
22
0.14
20
0.13
14
0.09
12
0.08
12
0.08
9
0.06
4
0.03
4
0.03
2
0.01
2
0.01
2
0.01
1
0.006
1
0.006
1
0.006

* most probably 100% record as nextdoor's cat uses our garden as a cut-through everyday.

BTO Bird Summary for my garden

I first joined BTO Garden Birdwatch in the 4th quarter for 2010. Each week, we have recorded the bird species and the maximum number seen at any one time during the week. Tabulated below is my bird species list for the scheme and doesn't include flyovers or any birds seen outside the perimeter of the garden.

Common Species
Number of weeks observed
(out of 158 paper and web weeks)
Reporting Rate
158
1.00
157
0.99
157
0.99
152
0.96
151
0.96
149
0.94
148
0.94
141
0.89
140
0.89
136
0.86
123
0.78
120
0.76
99
0.63
99
0.63
69
0.44
52
0.33
21
0.13
16
0.10
14
0.09
12
0.08
9
0.06
6
0.04
5
0.03
3
0.02
2
0.01
2
0.01
2
0.01
1
0.006
1
0.006
1
0.006

Gale Force Winds in the Garden


Despite the gale force winds, our garden birds still have to find enough food to survive through the night.



Goldfinches, House Sparrows, Greenfinches and Collared Doves all visited the feeders in 60 mph winds.




Birdbox Camera - Christmas Morning Wake Up


The Blue Tit roosting in our birdbox has stayed overnight since 2nd November 2013. Arriving at dusk and departing at first light every day has given us privileged views of a regular visitor to our garden.




Garden Birdwatch Update - Week Starting 15/12/2013

Goldfinch 17
Blue Tit 3
Great Tit 2
Coal Tit 1
Greenfinch 2
Chaffinch 1
House Sparrow 6
Hedge Sparrow 2
Blackbird 1
Robin 1
Starling 13
Feral Pigeon 11
Collared Dove 3
Jackdaw 3
Magpie 1
Sparrowhawk 1

Food: Sunflower Hearts, Seed, Peanuts, Fats Balls & Suet
Water

Garden Birdwatch Update - Week Starting 8/12/2013

Collared Dove 2
Chaffinch 1
Goldfinch 12
House Sparrow 8
Hedge Sparrow 2
Greenfinch 1
Blue Tit 2
Coal Tit 2
Great Tit 2
Blackbird 1
Starling 13
Feral Pigeon 2
Jackdaw 2
Robin 1
Woodpigeon 1
Wren 1
Magpie 1
Bullfinch 2

Food: Seed, Sunflower Hearts, Peanuts, Fat Balls & Suet
Water

Garden Birdwatch Update - Week Starting 1/12/2013

Collared Dove 5
Chaffinch 1
Goldfinch 12
House Sparrow 2
Greenfinch 2
Blue Tit 3
Coal Tit 2
Great Tit 2
Blackbird 1
Starling 9
Feral Pigeon 6
Jackdaw 1
Robin 1
Woodpigeon 1
Magpie 1

Food: Sunflower Hearts, Peanuts, Seed, Fat Balls & Suet
Water

Garden Birdwatch Update - Weeks Starting 17 & 24/11/2013

Week Starting 17/11/2013

Great Tit 1
Blue Tit 1
Coal Tit 1
House Sparrow 20
Hedge Sparrow 2
Goldfinch 13
Chaffinch 1
Greenfinch 2
Starling 6
Jackdaw 1
Robin 1
Collared Dove 2
Feral Pigeon 6
Wren 1

Food: Sunflower Hearts, Seed, Peanuts & Fat Balls.
Water


Week Starting 24/11/2013

Great Tit 2
Blue Tit 2
Coal Tit 2
House Sparrow 4
Hedge Sparrow 2
Goldfinch 8
Chaffinch 1
Greenfinch 1
Starling 4
Jackdaw 2
Robin 1
Collared Dove 2
Feral Pigeon 4
Woodpigeon 1
Sparrowhawk 1

Food: Sunflower Hearts, Seed, Peanuts & Fat Balls.
Water

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Garden Bird Camera

I have now got the Garden Bird Camera setup again and so I will be posting short videos of our visitors to the bird feeders.


These videos show House Sparrows and Goldfinches feeding on Seed and Sunflower Hearts. There are also brief appearances of Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Great Tit and Coal Tit.




Saturday, 16 November 2013

Garden Birdwatch - Week Starting 10/11/2013

Great Tit 1
House Sparrow 14
Dunnock 1
Chaffinch 2
Goldfinch 7
Greenfinch 5
Starling 4
Coal Tit 1
Blue Tit 1
Blackbird 1
Robin 1
Jackdaw 2
Collared Dove 1
Feral Pigeon 3

Food: Seed, Peanuts, Sunflower Hearts & Fat Balls
Water

Birdbox Camera - Blue Tit Wake Up

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Birdbox Camera - Blue Tit Roost

Since November 2nd 2013, a Blue Tit has been roosting in our birdbox. This week the bird has been entering the box between 4.25 pm and 4.50 pm.


Here are a few snapshots taken last week.






Garden Birdwatch - Week Starting 3/11/2013

House Sparrow 15
Great Tit 2
Coal Tit 2
Dunnock 2
Starling 16
Greenfinch 2
Chaffinch 3
Goldfinch 14
Blackbird 1
Robin 1
Feral Pigeon 4
Jackdaw 4
Magpie 2
Blue Tit 4

Food: Seed, Peanuts, Sunflower Hearts & Fat Balls
Water

Butterflies: 1 Red Admiral 3rd

Other Insects: Buff-tailed Bumblebee

Garden Birdwatch - Week Starting 27/10/2013

House Sparrow 20
Great Tit 2
Coal Tit 2
Dunnock 1
Starling 9
Greenfinch 1
Chaffinch 1
Goldfinch 4
Robin 1
Feral Pigeon 4
Jackdaw 3
Magpie 1
Blue Tit 2
Collared Dove 3
Wren 1

Food: Seed, Peanuts, Sunflower Hearts & Fat Balls
Water

Garden Birdwatch Update - Week Starting 20/10/2013

House Sparrow 18
Great Tit 1
Coal Tit 1
Dunnock 2
Starling 23
Greenfinch 1
Chaffinch 1
Goldfinch 5
Blackbird 1
Robin 1
Feral Pigeon 3
Jackdaw 3
Magpie 1
Blue Tit 2
Bullfinch 1 - first record for the garden in over 40 years, sadly nextdoors cat got the bird
Wren 1

Food: Seed, Peanuts, Sunflower Hearts & Fat Balls
Water

Butterflies: 1 Peacock 25th

Other Insects: Common Carder Bee & Buff-tailed Bumblebee (out of season)

Amphibians: Common Frog

This week our Hedgehog failed to visit the garden, so we hope he has left for hibernation. We have been privileged to enjoy watching this garden visitor who's species is in major decline. We hope you have enjoy watching the short video clips posted on this blog previously. He first came to the garden at the end of May, beginning of June and our garden was a part of his daily evening walk. As we head into winter we have been left with happy memories of 'hedgie' as I often watched him and can remember fondly of the night he walked head on into my moth trap with a little thud. Before heading on his way slaloming through my moth pots on the way to the water and peanuts.