Sunday, 27 January 2013

The Big Garden Birdwatch

Its that time of year again, and this year was a good year for the big garden birdwatch. Chilling from 10.07 to 11.07 with Andy Murry unfortunatly getting beat in the background, I was able to enjoy our birds. The only major downside was the weather; Cloudy, Too sunny, Rainy, Sleety, Dry, Calm, Windy, you name it we had it.

The Birds:
Blackbird: 3-we had four different individuals, two males, two females, one with a white patch on her wing, but sadly we only had three at a time in the garden
Blue Tit: 1
Coal Tit: 2-Something of a novalty, we don't get them often, and this week has been the first time ever we have had two at once
Dunnock: 2
Great Tit: 1
House Sparrow: 20
Robin: 1
Starling: 3
Woodpigeon: 2-This was unexpected to say the least, as we havent had one of these for some time, so to have two randomly pop in on the BGB day was a surprise, obviously after the limelight.

So we had a good representation of our garden birds, with the exception of collard doves, missing out on their chance of fame for the second year running. Our local sparrowhawk male flew overhead as well, but sadly your not allowed to count it.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Coal tit and other snow birds

So the snow has arrived. In my desperation for good photos, I built a snow hide, but no birds came, so that turned out to be a big fat waste of time. However, there were many birds around when I was inside. As usual when its snowy we were besiged by lovely spotty starlings, and this year they took to the birdbath in force.

And to that end we also had not one but two coal tits in the garden, which is a first for us. Sadly they were very camera shy, and so there is a distinct lack of photos that I have...

-Coal tit


A casual glance out of my bedroom window today and I spotted our local sparrowhawk loitering about...

Saturday, 5 January 2013


As usual, when I finished at Ogden I had the pleasure (!) of walking home over soil hill. While I have been revising, I had receive plenty of texts telling me about the numbers of pink footed geese, but I had been unable to try and see any due to my unfortunate revision commitments. However, walking home over soil hill, I looked up to spot a skein of 50+ geese flying north overhead. I then had the honour of sending them down the grapevine, which is always an honour. So there we have it, my first pinkies of the year, another nice revision break.

Ogden Watch Group

The first watch group of 2013, which means that we were chopping and moving Christmas trees that people have dumped. Its always good fun, but does mean that you will not see many birds. Having said that, you can see the birds of the reservoir, and luckily there were some birds there. The cormorant was sat on the buoy, as it seems to be so often when I come down. And there was, however, a male goldeneye on the reservoir, loitering around the duck feeding area, quite close to us on the bank. Its a nice bird to see, and another good bird at the start of the year.

Friday, 4 January 2013


Four posts in four days! that only happens during holidays, and certainly not during peak revision time. But it would seem not, as when I glance out of the window there always seems to be something going on. From my bedroom window I have been watching a local juvenile kestrel for a few days now, but today I managed to get the best view yet. At first it was on a telegraph pole in a field some way away, and I was unable to tell if it was the kestrel or the sparrowhawk. It started hunting, dropping down and then flying back up. the second time it did this it flew back up the wall directly opposite our house, and then dropped down onto the road. It was much closer now and I was able to get a pretty good view. It then cleared off, but it was nice to see it again; a productive break from work...

Thursday, 3 January 2013


I headed out of the house for the first time this year, to go into town for a few things, but it paid off in birds too, as at the bus stop in illingworth I spotted a sparrowhawk flying lazily about causing chaos with the starlings, I doubt it was hunting them, because if it was, it was doing a poor effort. It might be the same one that we have had around home, but who knows! Either way, it was nice to see another.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Mistle Thrush Return

To say I have to left the house due to revision, 2013 has got off to a flier, as today our garden was visited by our annual winter mistle thrush. It was not snowing for its arrival this year, nor did I have a camera ready to take its picture, but it was nice to see anyway. It came to the birdtable right in front of the window, a place it had been reluctant to come to in the past, and from there you can really get an appreciation of the size of it compared to our local blackbirds.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year

I can't say 2013 is going to live up to its predecessor, what with A-levels and then (hopefully) University, but you never know. It certainly didn't start that way, as the first morning of the new year our garden bird table was visited by a stunning female sparrowhawk. I was watching from my bedroom window upstairs so was unable to get a great view as we have had in the past, but either way it was pretty awesome to see. It didn't catch anything as all the sparrows (we have a lot at the moment) bolted into the bush where the hawk can't get to them.