Hi fellow Bird Nerds. 😋 Did anyone join in with the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch at the weekend? This year I had my most successful bird count in my little back yard, though sadly no pictures to prove it. My home tally was ~
House Sparrow 3
Long Tailed Tit 3
Blue Tit 1
I was really pleased that I actually had 3 Long Tailed Tits visit this year. They do appear occasionally but have never showed up on such an auspicious occasion as the Big Garden Birdwatch.
The following day ( Sunday) I joined my sister and family for their Birdwatch. As they live in a rural area adjoining fields and woodland , they do get a variety of birds ( and mammals) to the feeders.
Unfortunately my laptop is really playing up at the moment and I wasnt able to upload all the photos I took. 😦 So only a small selection of what we saw is included here.
Armed with brews, biscuits and binoculars , my sister, niece and I spent a happy hour jotting down our feathered friends feasting outside. They were joined by a pair of Grey Squirrels. We were joined by a feline companion.
There was a flurry of activity on the fatballs. We counted 12 Long Tailed Tits all at once! Other diners as follows. Nuthatch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Dunnock, Blackbird, Robin, Chaffinch & Wood Pigeon. A Pheasant, Song Thrush, a Hare and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were spied in the adjoining croft.
The weekends activities included the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. Hurrah! Something to do, and really quite ideal for lockdown. I must admit though I didn’t have the most exciting hour. My newly filled feeders seemed to be regarded with suspicion by the resident sparrows. Not one bird ventured from the foliage behind the garden shed. What was going on!
I counted 8 sparrows during the sixty minutes I sat glued to the window, camera at the ready. For all that time they mostly stayed hidden in the ivy. Then about five minutes before my hour was up I noticed a much bigger bird had landed in the greenery. It was mostly obscured but I noticed a long speckled tail through the leaves. It wasn’t a pigeon! Then suddenly it flew higher and all was revealed. A sparrowhawk! No wonder my little feathered visitors were staying away from the food. They didn’t intend to be food themselves.
Sorry to say I didn’t get a photo of my raptor visitor. Think I was in shock. 😲 But I have added Sparrowhawk to my birdcount results for the first time ever.
Meanwhile my sister and family were doing the birdcount at the same time as me. I usually join them but unfortunately not this year. 😔 They had a really successful hour with Nuthatch, Long Tailed Tits, Pheasants, Kestrel and a Wren included in the final tally. 🙂
After lunch Wil, Hugo and I headed out for a walk from Clitheroe , taking in the fields and River Ribble near Waddow Hall. Plenty of wildlife out this afternoon and an enjoyable 4 mile ramble from home and back.
I was delighted to find some Scarlet Elf Cups, such vibrant pops of colour in the winter landscape. They are also called Red Cups, Moss Cups and Fairies Baths. In folklore Wood Elves drink morning dew from them. Scarlet Elf Cups are most commonly found on mossy decaying branches on the woodland floor.
I saw plenty of Snowdrops in people’s front gardens today , it was also nice to see some wild ones too. A real sign that Spring is on the way. ❤️
I wouldn’t like to admit to having a favourite water bird ( I love to see them all) , but if you insist, I would probably say the Goosander . I always smile when I see these sawbilled ducks on the river, the female especially with her nut brown quiff . They are super adorable 💖.
Thanks for dropping by. Let me know if you have done the Birdwatch, seen Snowdrops or walked anywhere this weekend. 🥾🐦
This is my third year of noting down the birds in my back yard for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. I don’t know how, but I somehow ended up doing it a day early on Friday. In reality you were supposed to join in on Saturday or Sunday or even tomorrow, so there’s still time if you want to record the wildlife in your garden. You can submit your results online here. Anyway I don’t suppose it matters , me being an early bird. 🙂
Unfortunately I did not get the variety of species that I have had in previous years. The birds are definitely still around but chose not to appear in the hour. I ended up recording 9 House sparrows ( at least I can depend on them! ) and erm, 1 Mouse. Oh and I had to shew a neighbors cat away. My own cat Slinky was happily snoozing on the bed.
Just like last year I joined my sister, niece and nephew for their Big Garden Birdwatch, which we did this afternoon. We counted 4 Bluetits, 2 Coaltits, 3 Chaffinch, 2 Robins, 1 Great Tit, 2 Nuthatches, 1 Grey Squirrel and 2 Pheasants. Similar to 2019 except no Dunnock or Long Tailed Tits. A flurry of Long Tailed Tits typically showed up after the hour , but we of course couldnt include the latecomers.
Little Walt the new kitten joined us for the birdwatch. I have a feeling he might want to do more than birdwatch next year though. But isn’t he adorable! Maybe we can ask him to scare off the naughty squirrel who hogged the bird table…..
Are you going to do the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch?
Over the weekend I joined in with the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch , a wildlife survey which is in its 40th year. Us Brits first started counting our garden birds for an hour in January back in 1979 , when the RSPB joined forces with good old Blue Peter. The survey proved popular and is still going strong, with over half a million people joining in every year.
This was my second year participating , so here’s what I saw on Saturday in my little back yard.
1 Starling, 3 House Sparrows, 2 Bluetits and 1 Blackbird.
Although this seems a small tally, I’m quite happy with the results. Last year I had a dunnock visiting in the hour instead of a starling. Since then I have seen quite a few starlings fighting over the fat balls as well as visiting Long-tailed tits, Great tits, Coal tits, a Robin, Dunnocks, a Wren, a Mistle thrush and even a Jackdaw. You just never know who will turn up in the hour.
On Sunday I went to my sisters to see who would turn up to her Big Garden Birdwatch. We were all very cosy sat by the window with our brews and biscuits. She put on quite a spread! As Yvonne and her family live in the countryside, we hoped a good variety of wildlife would visit.
Despite it being quite windy outside , the hour was pretty eventful, mostly because two mischievous Grey Squirrels came a calling. This prompted my sister and nephew to resort to trumpeting party blowers at them in order to scare the rascals away. They kept returning though. 😉
The recent weekend was spent gathered with family at Mums. She didn’t want a big celebration, just time spent together with children and grandchildren on her 70th Birthday. Country walks, playing games, visiting some lovely gardens, and a Birthday Cake. It was a happy couple of days!
Mum lives at the foot of Askham Fell near Penrith in Cumbria. Its a comparitively little explored part of The Lake District, but well worth a visit. On Saturday morning before my sister and niece and nephew arrived, Wil and I armed ourselves with a Askham Fell Marsh Kelpie Tale Trail Map, and headed for a walk up the fell.
There are various Tale Trail maps of different places in The Lake District, aimed at younger walkers ….and the young at heart. 😁 The Marsh Kelpie is a fictional character that lives on the fell. We didn’t find him of course, but we did see lots of wildlife and a stone circle.
Its a good job my family are all wildlife lovers , as we also spent a lot of the weekend pouring over Mum’s Bird book, trying to identify the birds we saw. 🙂 My sister and I forgot our phone chargers ( there’s not much of a signal or wifi anyway) , so it was nice to Id what we saw , the old-fashioned way.
Horse in Buttercup meadow.
Why the long face…. 🙂
On Saturday afternoon we took Mum to Holehird Gardens near Windermere. She loves gardens and this one which is run by volunteers, is home to the Lakeland Horticultural Society. June is a good time to visit for the rhododendrons and blue Himalayan poppies.
I’m not very well up on my garden flowers, but as you can see the beds were abundant with colour. 🙂
On Sunday we visited somewhere closer to Askham. Acorn Bank gardens and Water Mill at nearby Temple Sowerby. The National Trust looks after the property and the manor house dates back to 1228, its first owners were the Knights Templar.
There is plenty to see at Acorn Bank. We walked along a forest trail to the working water mill, looked for frogs in the lily pond, found fairy doors, enjoyed the gardens, had a lovely brew and cake, browsed the second hand book shop and found Newtopia. 🙂
Great Crested Newts.
Great Crested Newts.
There’s a pond full of Great Crested Newts in the Sunken Garden at Acorn Bank. We had plenty of fun trying to spot them!
Thanks for joining me on a fun family weekend…with lots of wildlife thrown in for good measure. x
This weekend was the Big Garden Birdwatch in the UK and because my little back yard has been quite busy with bird visitors recently, I decided to join in. Apparently the Big Garden Birdwatch, organized by the rspb is the world’s largest wildlife survey! From previous years results the data collected has shown which birdlife is thriving and which breeds are not doing so well. Once common garden visitors such as the starling are now on the decline, though numbers of the tiny wren are happilly……on the up. Through January both of these birdie breeds have frequented my yard. Of course when you only have one hour to record the species that visit, its pot luck which , if any , will turn up. 😉
The survey was short and sweet…..and quite relaxing too. The idea being that you took one hour out of your time on Friday, Saturday or Sunday to sit and watch which birds appear. I chose an hour on Friday morning, settling down with a brew, cereal bar and my Big Garden Birdwatch Pack.
For what seemed like ages, I sat there wondering if anyone would arrive. 😐 But then luckilly a sparrow and a dunnock turned up. Dunnocks are shy brown and grey birds that mostly forage on the ground ,as they like to nibble what has dropped from the feeders.
My next visitor was a male blackbird. He and his mate are frequently seen feeding on the fat balls, swinging on the feeder. I was pleased to see him.
The true acrobats at the feeders are the pretty bluetits with their yellow fronts and black eye stripes. Usually I see quite a few enjoying the half coconut shells , but during the hour, only one graced the yard with its presence.
So there you go, I recorded 4 bird species in the hour. Not as good as I hoped, but it was still interesting and I hope my filled in survey helps the RSPB.
Today was a lovely spring day with warming sunshine and hints of blue sky. Ignoring the stinking cold I seem to have caught, I spent an hour in the grounds of Clitheroe Castle this afternoon. There were birds, there were bees and there were blooms and buds everywhere. Here is what I saw….
Yesterday I took my camera down the fields in the hope of capturing one of the Barn Owls I frequently see when I’m walking the hound. Yes I know, I am one lucky girl! But the enchanting creatures, who I often see hunting in daylight ( I didn’t know they did that!) proved elusive this time. Just knowing they are around ( possibly due to ground being disturbed because of new housing estates being built in the area ) gives me hope that I will get my shot one day. 🙂
The birds I can depend on not to be too camera shy are the various garden types that feed in a gateway to the campsite near the river. Some kind soul puts food out for them every day. These birdies know how to Brunch. 🙂
I hung around for a while, until my feet started getting a wee bit cold. If I tell you I also saw two Jays but couldn’t get a picture, you will know how disappointed I was. 😦 But the fact that wildlife is thriving down by the river does make me happy. I frequently see Kingfishers, Herons, Dippers and Goosander. Two walkers told me recently that they have spied Otters! And of course the camera shy Barn Owl(s) are possibly the most beautiful and graceful birds I have ever seen in the wild. 🙂
And despite the cold weather it does appear that Spring is just round the corner. 🙂
Every month I will be snooping around my local park ( Clitheroe Castle Grounds) with my trusty camera to record the various animal and plant life that reside under the bulk of the ancient Castle Keep. Its safe to say I need more patience. Those pesky goldfinches will not stay still! Oh well, maybe next time. 🙂 Spring is peeking through and the birds are busy building nests. Heres what I spied in February….
Park Life will be back in a month. Thanks for dropping by. X
As we recently purchased a new camera ( a Lumix Fz72 ), I thought I would use it to take pictures in my local park of the various animals and birds that reside there. I am lucky enough to live very close to ‘Clitheroe Castle’. Its grounds are where we often take Hugo on his walks. Here are a few recent photos. There are lots of grey squirrels that can often be seen trapezing from tree to tree. And quite a few species of garden birds. Over the year I will try and make a record of what I come across. Yep I am a bird nerd!
Northeast Allie is a blog that reflects influences from the Philadelphia area and the regions around it. It explores perspectives on life, encouragement, travel, wellness, and local living so that you can really enjoy this unique community!