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Dawn Stebbings
Sunday, January 31, 2010 15:36
RSPB - Big Garden Birdwatch
Just wondered if anyone took part in the Birdwatch programme this weekend? I did and counted 7 different species in the back garden: wood pigeons, robins, blackbirds, blue tits, sparrows, collared doves and jackdaws. Would be interested to know what other people saw...
Vivien Hotte
Sutton Post Office
Monday, February 1, 2010 17:54
Dawn, We did'nt take part, but out of interest to anyone, twice in the last 5yrs we've had blue tits nest in our little garden. Yes, it was only a yard when we moved in. Not a plant in sight, but we have created a little Eden. We have three nesting boxes, two of which have been used.Two need repalcing now as they are dropping to bits. We positioned them high up ,so we could watch from the living room window...which is upstairs above the Post office.
Considering we have a cat who slapped his chops whenever the little birds flew in & out, it has'nt put them off. I'm hoping for another lot of nesting activity this year when put up new boxes.
Brenda Whitaker was Grime
Queensland Australia
Friday, February 5, 2010 02:08
Hi Dawn and Vivien - I am a newcomer to the site -
What a great idea to have a garden bird watch - just to remind everyone of what is going on in the back yard.
Your posting brought back such a lot of memories - blue tits raiding the milk bottles, pecking at the tops and then getting into the cream, yes we used to have milk bottles delivered to the doorstep way bak in the 40's and 50's, in fact I used to deliver milk for Norman Riddiough from Bent Farm, in the old days, come rain or come shine. But that is another story.

It was both a funny and frustrating time of year for us as kids going out to bring in the milk for our corn flakes and finding the best bit had gone already! Then the excitement of seeing the first robin, the lovely song of the blackbirds etc. It is heartening to see that they are still around when so many species have either disappeared or are hard to find.

Here we love the birds but they are not song birds. We live on the edge of a lake in the middle of a golf course. We are old farts who love watching birds - just looking out of the window I can see 4 different kinds of ducks, 2 black swans, we have just watched half a dozen pelicans soaring on the thermals, swamp hens are squawking - egrets are in the shallows having their lunch of tiny fish, and then the b...dy plovers disrupting things and making a noise. Cant blame them really as there is an osprey around looking for its dinner.
That is just the water birds and there are plenty of other bush/tree birds - but none of them sing the way migratory birds sing, except of course the magpies, butcher birds and the like.

I was really interested in your back yard birds and can not only see them but hear them in my mind.
thank you.

David Harper
Invercargill, New Zealand
Friday, February 5, 2010 02:25
I will never forget the very first morning I woke up in NZ the first thing I heard was a blackbird singing the very same song as it does in the UK, amazing. Hi Brenda, glad you found the site.
Dawn Stebbings
Friday, February 5, 2010 09:21
Hi, this was the first time I have done the Birdwatch (or even heard of it!) but the RSPB has been running it for 30 years! One species that has been dwindling rapidly is the sparrow (haven't seen one for ages!) and they are now on red alert. Apparently new building developments, patios, concrete driveways etc are destroying their food supply - such a shame. I'm always excited when the heron visits though!
Brenda Whitaker was Grime
Queensland Australia
Saturday, February 6, 2010 02:13
Hi Dawn, it must be something about sparrows that makes them vulnerable - in the northern part of New Zealand especially in the Auckland area where I lived at the time, and about 10 - 15 years ago, or maybe more, the sparrows got some kind of disease and died off very quickly. It took a good few years for them to start coming back in numbers. Its only when they are not there that you realise how amusing they are and how you miss them. I hope they come back to Sutton with their cheeky playful ways.

David - gidday bro.
Liz Kildunne
Saturday, February 6, 2010 09:25
Hi Dawn, didn't do it this year as we are on hols, but regularly check out the bird population in my garden, and did the birdwatch last year. This year, have been pleased to note my numbers of goldfinches have increased from 4 seen at any one time to 7 at once all on one feeder :-). The week before we set off on hols we had bullfinches at our bird table - 2 males, one female - unusual visitors as normally v shy, but think bad weather must have brought them out. Also Jenny Wren came to table. Also long-tailed tits, blue tits, great tits, coal tits plus usual suspects - robins, blackbirds, collared doves, wood pigeons, starlings, green finches, chaffinches - seen very few thrushes and sparrows, occasional woodpecker comes, but not sure on type. Love 'em all. One of the most rewarding past-times - a bird table. I encourage everyone to put food out and watch, its lovely :-)

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