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As we move further into Spring and the days are getting warmer and longer, U3A members have been sending more and more wonderful bird photos and descriptions of their sightings as part of the BirdWatch scheme. Garden BirdWatch is provided by the British Trust of Ornithology and is a project in which participants take note of the species of birds they see in order to help BTO analyse migration movements and distributions of birds across Britain and Ireland. 

We want to see as many of these lovely pictures as possible to really capture this increased activity at the moment. Please carry on sending in your observations and sharing with U3A via our online form.

Brenda, Shrewsbury U3A, was very lucky to take this photo on her iPad of a pair of robins. It’s not often that you see a pair together, but they are very familiar with Brenda.

 

Ray from Abingdon U3A took this fantastic picture of a Red Kite from his back garden on 6 May.

This was taken by David from Wilmslow U3A in his garden in Wilmslow, Cheshire.

When the garden was being prepared for his new turf, Peter, Orpington U3A, snapped this robin who had stopped by to watch!

Peter also spotted these two, deep in conversation "shall we make this our home this year? I was born here in 2019!" and the blue tits below on the right:

Moorhens are permanent residents on David’s pond (Harleston U3A). There are at least four chicks in this brood, the second this year.

Janet, St Neots U3A, was joined by Mr and Mrs Blackbird on VE Day. Thankfully they observed the 2m social distancing rule.

This bird, and there is current great debate about what it is, was just sitting on Hazel, Burton upon Trent U3A’s garden fence on 28 April. Any suggestions? Its markings are not very clear in the photograph but it had horizontal dark markings on its front. What a joy to see such a lovely wild bird.

Julie, Southport U3A, would like to introduce Becks, a female Blackbird with a taste for mealworms.  Only as a treat so as not to become dependent on them as a source of food. During the summer months when she had young she would appear as soon as Julie went into the garden. In order to photograph her, Julie placed a small container of mealworm on the lawn from which she gathered several up then would walk across the lawn before flying off, returning a few minutes later for more.

Mike from Aughton and Ormskirk U3A photographed a squirrel that invaded his bird feeder and got a bit unstuck.

 

Roundup of other bird sightings

Judith, Stafford U3A, has seen 2 jays, 20 starlings, 6 magpies, 4 blue tits, 2 coal tits, 2 great tits, 2 blackbirds, 1 robin, 2 dunnocks, 6 pigeons, 1 goldfinch and 1 chaffinch.

We would love to hear from more members about your sightings and for you to share any photographs you have managed to take of your feathered visitors.

Mary Gibbons is our Birdwatching subject adviser for the U3A movement, Mary has a lot of information on her Subject Adviser page to help with this and can help with any individual enquiries.