Have you got an hour to spare on Saturday or Sunday?
This weekend people all over the uk will be taking part in the annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. The programme has been running on the same weekend in January for the last 35 years, and the data has grown into a fascinating record of bird populations in the UK.
To get involved all you need to do is make a note of the largest number of each species you see at one time in the period of one hour, and report your findings to RSPB. Not birds on the wing, we hasten to add– that way madness lies – but just those you spot in your garden.
Secretly we suspect that birds rather look forward to the Birdwatch weekend each January. Maybe a little more bird food gets put out, though its something RSPB advises we should be doing all through the year.
Up in the Northern reaches of Palmers Green, our birds like the usual bread, cake, suet, dried fruit, the odd leftover potato and rice. They turn up their beaks at niger seeds, which we optimistically put out in the home of luring in some finches. And they will only eat apples on sufferance. Maybe they go off them after the autumn glut.
The real mystery is what birds will turn up during the course of a year. In our first year in PG, we didn’t see a single sparrow or starling, only a standard lineup of robins, blackbirds, crows, jays, pigeons and various types of tit. But since then we have seen greater spotted woodpeckers, green woodpeckers, and, once, a redwing. We still haven’t seen any parakeets, though once they arrive we will probably loathe them.
What is the most obscure bird sighting you have had in Palmers Green? And did you take a photo?
- If you are interested in bird behaviour I recommend Africa Gomez’s BlogSpot The Rattling Crow http://therattlingcrow.blogspot.co.uk/