Nature Blog Network

2013 BTO garden birdwatch results

The results of the 2013 BTO garden birdwatch are available here and it is interesting to compare their findings with ours.

Where we are in common:
Increased numbes of blackbirds

Where we buck the trend:
Increased numbers of siskins and other seed feeders
Increased numbers of wood pigeons. Whilst we regularly have 2 and occasionally 4 in the garden, these numbers have not increased
Increased numbers of goldfinches. These have gone up in 2014.
Increased numbers of blackcaps. Apparently seen in gardens in unprecedented numbers, we didn’t record a single one.

Where we buck the trend:
Low numbers of chaffinch, great tit and blue tit reflecting poor breeding season. Our numbers were about average

Where we are in common:
Low numbers of garden birds in general
Low numbers of fieldfare and redwing

Despite there being large numbers of blackbirds in the first quarter of 2013, they were only reported in 97% of gardens for which reports were submitted. So somewhere there is a garden which doesn’t get blackbirds?

new species

Two new bird species this week, bringing the total bird species for the lane to 49 and for the year to 26.

First was a nuthatch creeping his way up and round the tree. We have had treecreepers occasionally but this was the first nuthatch.

Second was a female sparrowhawk sat on the hedge in next door’s garden, then flew down the lane towards the village. I hope she doesn’t take too many of the tits and sparrows. It would be a shame to lose the small birds visiting the feeders. Lovely bird though.


Saw a reed bunting on the lane on Sunday - what on earth was that doing there? And no, it wasn’t a male house sparrow, there were plenty of those as well.

Further signs of spring on a walk in the Ribble Valley about 30 miles north today: 7 spot ladybirds, small tortoiseshell butterflies and loads of frogspawn. None of these seen in Springhill this year yet.

nocturnal natural history

Lying awake one night listening to the pleasant sounds of the tawny owl and the rather less pleasant crying of the foxes, which always seem to sound like someone crying. Later, just before dawn, the owl and the blackbird virtually overlap then the robins, great tits and sparrows start.

We see the nocturnal wildlife relatively rarely - bats yes, foxes occasionally, hedgehogs rarely and badgers only once on the lane and little more on night walks.