Join the Big Garden Birdwatch!

In case you aren’t aware the RSPB is running its Big Garden Birdwatch from today, Friday 28th, and all this weekend. Why not spend an hour counting your garden visitors or observing the birds in your local park. For details please see the RSPB website . The more people take part in this citizen science project the better the RSPB is able to monitor our valuable winged wildlife.

These are some of the birds you might see. These examples are mostly from my own garden and the rest from nature reserves.

Common members of the tit family that you might see. Bluetit and great tit are the most likely spots. The coaltit can be identified by the white mark on the back of then head. The long tailed tit needs no description.

Some finches. Goldfinch and male and female chaffinches. Disease has decimated greenfinch numbers. The last two are rarer finches – redpoll and siskin.

House sparrows are nowhere near as numerous as they used to be so I am pleased to see them in the garden. The female is on the right. Bottom left iis a dunnock. We have 2 or 3 of them resident in the garden. I’ve included the last one to make up a foursome. You will be fortunate indeed to see a tree sparrow. Their distinguishing features are a chocolate brown cap and a white cheek surrounding a small black mark.

Pigeons are not always welcome because they hoover up the birdseed before the intended recipients but they are nevertheless interesting. Top row – wood pigeon and the less common collared dove. Bottom image – feral pigeons – in a surprising variety of feather patterns and colours. Right – almost all over grey/blue with just an irridescent green patch on the neck – the stock dove.

I’m sure you can manage without pictures of blackdirds, robins, starlings, magpies etc and you might see something rare like a redwing or a sparrowhawk. Enjoy your hour observing the birds if you decide to take part. Your contribution is important.


  1. Paul Dilks · January 28, 2022

    Thanks for the piccies Raymond. Following yesterday I have re-evaluated my view about the Goshawk. That bird, plus the ones seen behind the house, plus the ones seen in the park , do not look very grey on the breast like the examples pictured on line as far as I could tell. The birds were not buzzards , but quite large , sharp winged birds , and all have exhibited hawk like flight characteristics by jinking through the foliage/bare branches at speed. They did not have the characteristic head/beak of a marsh harrier either. (I saw those in Guernsey ) It could be , that like yourself , I have not ever seen a Goshawk after all? Regards, Paul

    Sent from my iPad



  2. · January 28, 2022

    Hi Raymond,

    Mavis and I just starting our survey now.




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