For the last ten days we have had snow: our lane has been impassable even for four wheel drive vehicles. So although husband has donned his boots and walked out into the world to catch buses I have been stuck at home, and mostly indoors.
However on Saturday I ventured out with a pointed bamboo cane in one hand and a sharp metal spade in the other, and thus accoutred, slowly, and taking great care, managed to walk round the property without falling over! So pleased that no one could see me:)
I replenished the bird feeders, which husband has been doing for me so far, and put out raisins, squash seeds, meal worms, and fat blocks. We are very popular with the birdy world at the moment.
This weekend is the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) Big Weekend Bird Watch, where people spend an hour watching and counting the species in their gardens. This is all fed back to RSPB headquarters which helps them with their species population database.
The following information if from the website of the RSPB:
Big Garden Birdwatch
How you’ve already helped
For over 30 years, we’ve been asking you to count the birds in your garden – and you’ve been brilliant at it.
With over half a million people now regularly taking part, coupled with over 30 years worth of data, Big Garden Birdwatch allows us to monitor trends and helps us understand how birds are doing.
As the format of the survey has stayed the same, the scientific data can be compared year-on-year, making your results very valuable to our scientists.
With results from so many gardens, we are able to create a ‘snapshot’ of bird numbers across the UK. Let’s take a look at some of the population changes you’ve helped us see. All changes are from 1979 to 2012:
Starlings have suffered one of the steepest declines (80%) of any bird in our survey
Robins have suffered a population decline of 32%
We’ve lost two-thirds of our house sparrows
Blue tit numbers have increased by 20%
Woodpigeon numbers have increased a massive 800%
While these changes can seem scary – we’ve lost more than half our house sparrows and some three-quarters of our starlings – it isn’t all doom and gloom.
Your results help us spot problems, but more importantly, they are also the first step in putting things right. And this is why it’s so important that we count the garden birds.
Sunday dawned bright and clear, blue sky, sun, and most of the snow had thawed in the night. I spent a very happy hour in the kitchen, with the parrots, by the stove, doing my Birdwatch. My recording is not as fast as usual with only one good eye, but it was still great fun having a go. Getting any focus on the bins. was difficult, but I managed and it was such a thrill!!! I tell you, only having one eye that focusses really makes you grateful for the gift of sight: I was nearly jumping out of my skin with delight at the colours, body patterns, jumps and flights the birds all made. I could almost taste the pleasure of sight in my mouth, it was so intense.
My haul was as follows: