Saturday, 25 January 2014

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch - a family affair

Want to get your kids/teens/reluctant partner involved in counting garden birds? Offer sneaky incentives. As well as stocking up with bird food for the survey hour, I always get in various treats for the rest of the family. I don't insist anyone joins me, but I keep the kitchen warm and have some comedy playing on the radio or iPod, and one by one they come and pick up the binoculars and start spotting. It's a very comfy way to birdwatch but the survey results are important so at the same time we feel we're doing a useful job. This year we had very few birds and only eight species. That doesn't matter, though. The RSPB needs all the records they can get hold of.

Our 2014 results?
5 jackdaws
1 coal tit
4 house sparrows
4 wood pigeons
2 blackbirds
2 robins
2 blue tits
1 dunnock

Saturday, 11 January 2014

At Broughall Again


 Meadow pipit

 Reed bunting

 Water vole prints and droppings


Another walk round Broughall, and two personal firsts for me - the pipit and the linnets. Also, not being a birder, I had no idea you got flocks of reed buntings in fields. 

This area, as well as being home to water voles, is teeming with birds, which makes me think perhaps the farmland is organic.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Good Start to the New Year

Across the road from the lay-by at Broughall is a public footpath across fields. Took a walk across there this afternoon and came across a ditch with water vole prints all over the banks plus this latrine. It's a new colony to me, and one I'll be happily keeping an eye on this summer.