In the beginning of 2013 I started a log of the birds that visit our bird feeders. I had been given some new bird feeders for Christmas last year and I had a spare 2013 diary lying around. So, fill the feeders and sit back to watch through the window.
It was really fun to document what visited our garden. There were seasonal visitors and surprise guests. When writing in the daily log, I would highlight anything out of the ordinary in yellow highlighter. For example if a new species (to me or the garden) showed up for the first time, that entry was made yellow. When the red squirrels showed up, I highlighted those entries in pink.
The most common bird visitors to the place were Chaffinches and Coal tits. They showed up every day and in good numbers.
Here is the bird list for the year.
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Buzzard - in the tree across the road
Long tailed tit
Assorted gulls (not close enough for identification)
Barnacle geese (in the field - I could see them from my window so I counted them!)
Cuckoo - call only
Lapwing (in the field)
Oyster catcher (in the field)
Curlew (in the field)
Sparrow (first at the house in over 17 years)
Animals in the garden include
Polly - our dog
RED SQUIRRELS - up to four at once
four or five species of bat - at least one is a pipistrelle
Forty species of bird has been seen from the back room window. I am certain that if I
spent more time watching. If I could have identified the different species
of gull in the field and the list would have been longer. There are
also Fieldfair and Redstarts
in the field but they fly way too fast for identification. If I can't
be absolutely certain, it wasn't listed. It
was fun watching the winter visitors to the feeders (bramblings) and note when the swallows return, breed and take off again.
highlights for me this year was seeing the families of birds. We had
visiting male and female Great Spotted woodpeckers. I saw them mating
in one of the trees. Weeks later the woodpeckers brought their
offspring to the peanut feeders. It was delightful to see the adults
feeding their babies.
A new bird made it onto my life list this year, the redpoll. That was a treat!
One day a female pheasant showed up with over 14 baby pheasants following her.
Baby robins, blue tits, woodpeckers, blackbirds and chaffinches all did
that nestling behaviour at the feeders of flapping their wings with
mouth wide open.
Now it is winter again, a new year has started and a new diary
has begun. I wasn't going to do another log . . . but I found that
writing down what is seen at the feeder has become a habit. The first day of the New Year and I didn't have anywhere to write down what I was seeing! I had to get a new pocket diary in the supermarket on the next trip into town.