Learning News

Bird Watch - an Update 5

Published : 28 July 2020 Views: 3290

What’s causing the louder birdsong?

Have you noticed the daily chorus of birdsong, particularly louder now in urban areas? Apparently the lower noise level created by lockdown might be helping singing birds to be heard by potential mates and rivals, therefore increasing their breeding success.

Please carry on sending in your observations and sharing with U3A via our online form. 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.

The British Trust for Ornithology has offered free membership of its Garden BirdWatch scheme, so that people can stay connected to nature, learn about garden wildlife and contribute to important scientific research without leaving home. 

These two Gold Finches were snapped by William, Great Malvern U3A, while they were feeding in his garden during lock-down.

Christine, Pontarddulais U3A, has also been enjoying seeing lots of goldfinches on her feeders in the garden.

This blackbird chick enjoying a rest on Gillian’s, Wrexham U3A, plastic cover on her patio table. It allowed Gillian to get within 4 feet without stirring. The blackbirds that visit Gillian’s garden all year round are particularly fond of apple cores, and the male blackbird in the picture on the right was not sure whether to feed the apple to its chick or hide it so it could eat it himself.

Turtle doves are daily visitors to Joy’s, St Ives (Cambs) U3A, garden at the moment. Joy believes they come from the Ouse Fen Bird Reserve just beyond the garden. They are rarely seen these days so Joy feels very privileged. On one occasion she saw two together but usually it's just one each time and mostly first thing in the morning and then in the evening.

Patricia, Burton Joyce Nottingham U3A, saw a Sparrow Hawk sitting on a tree stump in her garden. Unfortunately she didn’t have her camera to hand when it was at the bird bath and had to take this through the bedroom window as she was afraid it would fly away if she opened a window for a clearer shot.

Catherine, Pontesbury & Rea Valley District U3A, has taken a selection of amazing photos of birds in her garden:
Two young jackdaws, waiting for breakfast... first in the queue.

Over a few years Catherine has had several jackdaws with white markings. She has one this year who is almost pied. She always has first choice of the food, she's not bullied by the other birds, and they wait until she's got a beak full before tucking in themselves.

The lovely female blackbird who follows Catherine around the garden.

One of the female blackbirds watching Catherine put the food out.

Julian, Shottery U3A, had a Bunting on his feeder:

Margaret, Upholland U3A, noticed two little blue tits investigating the bird box (built by her husband) attached to her garage wall. From about the beginning of lockdown to about the 4 June when the birds fledged, the two blue tits built, laid eggs and fed, 4 chicks. Margaret was so pleased to see the chicks fledge as the adults had worked so hard keeping them fed and she were rewarded by being able to see the chicks in the garden and watch the adults feed them. Better still she has been able to capture them on camera, so still has the memories of enjoying wild life in the garden.

Wayne, Skegness U3A, has taken pictures of a selection of Birds visiting our garden. His sightings have been recorded as part of our contribution to the BTO Garden BirdWatch.

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.


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