It’s the weekend of the RSPB winter garden bird count and as long-serving readers of my blog will know this is the weekend when all the birds desert my garden and go somewhere else. All those everyday visitors, regular throughout the week leading up to the count simply vanish!
Still there is always the hope that this year would be different and to be fair it was a more representative count than in some past years with pairs of Dunnocks, Blue Tits and Great Tits visiting the feeder station along with Blackbirds and our usual legion of Crows supplemented by a couple of Magpies and a Jay. Two Chaffinches were an uncommon visitor to the garden and made it onto this year’s return.
Around lunchtime, I had to go up to the Town centre and took the long route around the Tarn in the hope of seeing the Water Rail that had been seen when I was away. The lake was no longer frozen, reflecting the slight increase in temperature over the last week. The pair of Gadwall were still present but I could not find either the Little Grebe or the Teal which had been present during the thaw – maybe they have moved on although it could just be they were hidden from sight in the bankside vegetation on this occasion. No luck with the Water Rail either but I did locate a Redwing. These too have disappeared from the garden now the temperature has risen presumably to feed on the nearby open land now that the frost has gone. It is interesting how only small variations in temperature can affect the local distribution of birds.
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)