Saturday, January 26, 2008

TTV's and Big garden birdwatch 2008

We started off the weekend by doing a second visit to our first four Tetrads. This we managed in a little under five hours, walking about nine miles. Both of the reservoirs were very much quieter than when we visited last year, probably due to the men from Defra having gone about their murder earlier this week, continuing the Ruddy Duck cull. We taxpayers are forking out £8.4million for people to go onto nature reserves and shoot an introduced duck, to avoid hybridisation of White-headed Ducks in Spain. In the process lots of other wildfowl are getting shot and those that aren't killed are substantially disturbed. What genius had that idea? All 'wildfowling' (funny how there's so many euphemisms for the general human taste of killing for pleasure) should be illegal, full stop.

What little we did count included a reasonable number of Pochard's including this much more Rufous coloured female, in comparison to the bird I snapped last week:

When we got home we decided to participate in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch, and spent an hour counting everything that came into the garden. We counted 120 individuals in 20 species, and realised that (a) we've been under-recording and therefore under-reporting the number of birds in the garden to the BTO and (b) we should spend more time watching the birds in the garden!

A recent garden tick (less than 2 weeks) is the Stock Dove/Stock Pigeon, today we had four individuals in the hour:

They are slightly smaller than the Woodpigeon, lacking the white neck patch, with black eyes and tell-tale black spots on the primary wing feathers.

Also in the garden today was this Dunnock:

This female Reed Bunting was one of five individuals:

The last visitor to the garden in our hour was this male Siskin on the left of the two feeders, looks like he's figured the feeders out now:

The actual record submitted to the RSPB (and the BTO) was:

Starlings 20
Collared Doves 12
Woodpigeon 3
Blue Tit 4
Blackbirds 6
Stock Doves 4
Reed Bunting 5
Wren 1
Robin 2
Goldfinch 15
Dunnock 2
Magpie 1
Chaffinch 15
House Sparrow 50
Greenfinch 3
Song Thrush 1
Great Tit 2
Carrion Crow 1
Long-tailed Tit 1
Siskin 1

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting to see your stock dove. They turned up here in my garden in Surrey for the first time ever (well, that I've spotted anyway) this weekend.

Great pictures as usual!

Adele / Sittingfox

9:24 pm  

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