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Tales from four IGO members about the Big Garden Bird Watch

In January, IGO members were inspired to join the Big Garden Birdwatch and report their findings. Read what they had to say about their sightings. 

I did the Big Garden Birdwatch and I saw 11 types of bird: blackbird, robin, blue tit, great tit, coal tit, wood pigeon, song thrush, dunnock, nuthatch, marsh tit and long-tailed tit. Apparently, the coal tit was not on the list of frequently spotted garden birds.

They said I had far below average numbers of each bird, but you can only report the maximum number of that bird at any one time in that one hour. My garden is small but backs onto mixed well established woodland, so I have a lot of birds visiting one or two at a time.

I usually do the British Trust for Ornithology's Garden Bird Watch recording the maximum number of each type of bird seen using the garden (not just flying over) in any given week. You can also record a selection of animals, reptiles, butterflies, dragonflies, bees etc. It adds interest to looking out of the windows and always a pleasure to see a new or infrequent visitor such as great spotted woodpecker or sparrow hawk, or even a house sparrow.

Angela, member of the IGO Family History Group

blue tit on yellow washing line

I did take part in the Big Garden Bird Watch. I don’t usually see a lot of birds in the garden though I feed them. Usually I have a regular robin, some sparrows, but on that day saw:

1 male blackbird,1 great tit, 2 blue tits, 1 robin, 1 wood pigeon, 1 crow, 2 magpies, 2 sparrows.

The main issue I had was reporting the findings – I usually report it via the website but couldn’t get it to work. No matter which browser I tried, or even if I tried on a tablet instead of the PC, it came up with “an unknown error message occurred”. They couldn’t sort it out and I ended up having to print a form and post it.

Pam, Hampshire, member of three IGO groups – Canva, WAYR4, Write Fiction and Non-fiction.

blue tit on yellow washing line

This observation was 11 to 12, through the French window of the garden room overlooking a half-acre cottage garden on the edge of arable farmland. This gives us a day-long view across a terrace without any disturbance. The stragglers were the few long-tail tits that had become separated from the charm! I qualify the description to explain their unusual paucity - ours usually gather in the dozens.

Robins 4, sparrows house 2, sparrows hedge (dunnocks) 7, blackbird 4, Great tits 8, blue tits, 7, wren 1, woodpecker green, 1 woodpecker greater spotted, 1 long tail tits 5/6 stragglers, wood pigeons 3: record copied from our birdwatch. Rural Wocestershire. 

Idris, member of the IGO Countdown to COP group

blue tit on yellow washing line

We observed on Fri 28 Jan, end of the afternoon (3.30-4.30 or later, light was fading).

We had 3-4 feeders. We observed from back windows in our 1st-floor maisonette looking north over our back garden and beyond. From our joint memories, we saw: 4 sparrows, 3 redwings, 3 bluetits, 2 great tits, 2 blackbirds, 2 pigeons, a magpie, 3 rooks/crows. Pleased to see the redwings, not regulars here. 

Richard and Helen, living in London. Members of the IGO Countdown to COP group

All images in this article from Wikimedia Commons
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