RSPB Big Garden Bird watch, it’s amazing how quickly the year goes by.
We chose to do our watch on the Saturday this year and it’s been a beautiful crisp cold day. Most of the expected birds turned up for their daily feed, you can see our results further down this post.
A Nuthatch enjoys a black sunflower seed.
But first I’d like to recount some behaviour of the Pecker variety. To be more precise the Greater Spotted Woodpecker. As those of you who follow my posts will know, we have good numbers of these woodpeckers on the farm and some visit the feeders year round. Currently we have 2 males and 1 female who are regular feeder visitors. Peanuts & Fat balls are their usual preference but one male has developed a liking for sunflower seeds. He is however, very particular about his preparation and eating ritual. Once he is confident that the area is safe, he collects several sunflower seeds from the feeder. Next he flies across to an old post that has a small hole in it. He places the seeds in the hole and bashes them with his beak. This appears to not only remove the hard shell but also pounds the kernel in to fine chips & coarse flour that he then heartily enjoys. This process he then repeats, until disturbed or satisfied. I’ve posted a 2 minute video of this to my YouTube channel, which you can watch at the end of this post.
Now back to the BGBW. As promised our results are in the table below, guarded by Mrs Woodpecker:
Summary: 18 species 134 individuals
I’m pleased that some of the Bramblings showed up this year. They have been absent or few in numbers for a several winters but this winter has seen a good number on the farm. They have such fabulous plumage too.
A Brambling perches on a hedgerow twig.
As you can read above, Chaffinches are in great abundance and each morning the farmyard is alive with the hubbub of gossip between their various families in the surrounding hedgerows. Despite the fact that they seem to find plenty of food around the stables & barns, they are still very prominent at the feeders each day.
A Chaffinch in the winter sun.
I think the only regular visitors that didn’t turn up for today’s count, were the Siskins. But then they seem to have been staying up in the forestry during cold spells, only coming down to the feeders when it’s damp & milder; so perhaps their no show was to be expected.
Ah, time to do the evening rounds now. I hope your BGBW was successful and if you haven’t done it yet, good luck for tomorrow.
Here’s the Woody video I mentioned: