Monday, 30 December 2013

BTO Winter Thrushes Survey

Yesterday, I did  my core square (NZ4622)  for the BTO Winter Thrush Survey. Despite all the recent bad weather, Sunday was sunny with no wind, so ideal for looking for Blackbirds, etc.  


Last year, on New Years Day only three Blackbirds were seen so I was hoping to see more. As you can see from the updated map, the birds were certainly using the square.


To most surveyors a largely industrial square does not appeal, but I always welcome a challenge to find birds within unusual habitats and hidden areas will are useful wildlife corridors.

Highlights were as follows:
Point 5 - a single apple tree with fallen fruit below provided the local birds with a good food source. Five Blackbirds were counted.

Point 9 - all of a sudden four Redwing appeared overhead and also in the trees & bushes along with three Blackbirds. A total of eight Redwings were counted here.

Point 10 - five Redwings and three Blackbirds were perched in the trees enjoying the warmth of the sun.

Point 11 - seven Redwings were perched in small bushes enjoying the sun.

Point 12 -  ten Blackbirds were counted in roadside Hawthorn trees with last berries that were of poor quality.

Point 13 - 30+ Starlings were seen dropping into the gardens, presumably taking advantage of kitchen scraps.

Total - 29 Blackbirds, 20 Redwings and 30+ Starlings.

Friday, 27 December 2013

BTO Summary for other Garden Visitors

I first joined BTO Garden Birdwatch in the 4th quarter for 2010. Each week, we have recorded other garden visitors, such as amphibians, butterflies, bees and mammals. It is recognised that our gardens are very important spaces for our wildlife and are a major source of food and shelter for a wide variety of species.

Scarcer Species
Number of weeks observed
(out of 158 web weeks only)
Reporting Rate
111
0.70
44
0.28
34
0.22
34
0.22
32
0.20
29
0.18
27
0.17
24
0.15
23
0.15
22
0.14
20
0.13
14
0.09
12
0.08
12
0.08
9
0.06
4
0.03
4
0.03
2
0.01
2
0.01
2
0.01
1
0.006
1
0.006
1
0.006

* most probably 100% record as nextdoor's cat uses our garden as a cut-through everyday.

BTO Bird Summary for my garden

I first joined BTO Garden Birdwatch in the 4th quarter for 2010. Each week, we have recorded the bird species and the maximum number seen at any one time during the week. Tabulated below is my bird species list for the scheme and doesn't include flyovers or any birds seen outside the perimeter of the garden.

Common Species
Number of weeks observed
(out of 158 paper and web weeks)
Reporting Rate
158
1.00
157
0.99
157
0.99
152
0.96
151
0.96
149
0.94
148
0.94
141
0.89
140
0.89
136
0.86
123
0.78
120
0.76
99
0.63
99
0.63
69
0.44
52
0.33
21
0.13
16
0.10
14
0.09
12
0.08
9
0.06
6
0.04
5
0.03
3
0.02
2
0.01
2
0.01
2
0.01
1
0.006
1
0.006
1
0.006

Gale Force Winds in the Garden


Despite the gale force winds, our garden birds still have to find enough food to survive through the night.


video

Goldfinches, House Sparrows, Greenfinches and Collared Doves all visited the feeders in 60 mph winds.

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Birdbox Camera - Christmas Morning Wake Up


The Blue Tit roosting in our birdbox has stayed overnight since 2nd November 2013. Arriving at dusk and departing at first light every day has given us privileged views of a regular visitor to our garden.


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