Big Garden Birdwatch and Other Things

Last weekend was the RSPB's (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) annual Big Garden Birdwatch: you sign up and watch the birds in your garden for an hour and make a note of the maximum number of each species you see at any one time, then send them off to the RSPB. This is my forth year of doing it with my mother - here's what we saw, and how the numbers compare to the previous years.

Species2017201820192020
Chaffinches31444033
Coal Tits2317
Robins2521
Siskins02402
Goldfinches0100
Sparrows3229
Woodpeckers2200
Blackbirds2111
Wrens1110
Blue Tits6804
Wood Pigeons861014
Collared Doves6639
Long-Tailed Tits3100
Nuthatches 1110
Bullfinches 0 030

Now, like an idiot, taking pictures for some reason didn't even occur to me. All I can say is at present I am seriously tired (more on that in a moment). I am so out of the habit of taking pictures, I need to get back to it if only to get some good pictures of Pablo and Archie. But back to the birds for a moment: it's interesting to compare the figures from previous years. Take the robins - in 2018 there were literally five of them in the garden at the same time, but in that same year they seemed to take a big hit. I found two or perhaps three young robins dead that year, and in summer 2019 I found an adult robin dead. I saw one for the bird watch, but I was lucky - there's at least one robin kicking about but it's rare to see him despite it being winter. The siskins: they're migratory birds and I'm guessing in 2018 they arrived home early. I think they're coming back in dribs and drabs, yesterday I saw 4 or 5 of them. The blackbirds: well, this one troubles me - granted on my list the figures haven't really altered, however in summer 2019 by God the sparrowhawk really went for them - I found five mangled blackbirds. I wonder how many will be about in the summer. As for the rest - the tits are doing well, as are the collared doves and the wood pigeons. The nuthatch and woodpecker I've not seen since autumn, and the wren... perhaps I saw the wren in the garden a month ago, but I think I saw one a few weeks ago in the forest. The bullfinches - they never returned and, if memory serves, once I saw them in January 2019 I stopped seeing them by spring. And finally the chaffinches - there are still an abundance of chaffinches. Had it not have been so windy and rainy I think I'd have seen a great many more for this bird watch.

Back on the forgetful theme - another thing that slipped my mind was the Classics Club spin - I was supposed to read Atlas Shrugged, but when January began it went right out my head. In fact this has been a rather eclectic month for reading: when January begins I always begin a spring clean, or as I should call it - a 'for spring' clean - I like everything in order for when the season begins to change. I worked hard and yesterday I finished. In March I'll do the outdoor stuff - the garden, the sheds, the garage, the greenhouse, but all indoors is clean and organised, and I'm thrilled. One discovery I made during the clean was my old Judy Blume books, and I read three of them - Deenie (that was no where near as good as I thought it was back in the day), Just as Long as We're Together and Here's to You, Rachel Robinson - those two were a pleasure to revisit. I also read a few pagan books, reviving an interest I've had since university (I studied religion for my degree): the history and development of religion, especially alongside others, never fails to fascinate me so that should keep me occupied for quite some time yet. Other than that, I'm just browsing around my shelves. I've stayed on top of my challenges (I don't plan, by the way, to write weekly posts on Deal Me In titles, but I am reading them), so that's grand.

Apart from that, everything's basically quiet. I would say one thing - I started this post a few days ago and now I come to finish it I have a very heavy cold: I was planning to conclude this post with a few books on my radar for this month, but I'm just going to end it here! Going to spend a lot of time reading today, though, and I've got a few posts planned for later in the week...

Happy February, everyone!

Mist and hoarfrost from a few days ago, now replaced with Storm Ciara which hit yesterday evening. 

Comments

Ruth said…
It's one of those months!

So do you think you'll ever get to read Atlas Shrugged? It is a commitment, I know. (I'm intimidated by it.)

Happy February!
mudpuddle said…
that's a good idea, watching and identifying bird species... Mrs. M does that with some friends but i can't tell them apart... sorry you're sick; hope doggies are okay... our new Chihuahua is a year old now and some of the time actually spends a bit of time on the floor instead of the ceiling haha... that's interesting, that you're a religion major...
mudpuddle said…
new blog: mudpuddlesoup2.blogspot.com

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