Big Garden Birdwatch – our first six years of data

Big garden bird watch

This morning I spent an hour gazing out of our bedroom window with a coffee, a notebook, and a pair of binoculars.  Not sure what the neighbours opposite us thought I was doing but I was happy – this weekend is the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch!  I’ve taken part in it every year since Karin and I moved into our present house in February 2012, and I thought it was time to show the results to date.

As you can see in the graph above, for the first couple of years there were relatively few birds (only 6 species in 2013, 8 in 2014).  Then in 2015 it jumped to 15 species, including some that I’ve not recorded in the garden since such as Lesser redpoll.  Two reasons for this sudden increase I think.  First of all, January 2015 was particualrly cold which meant that more birds were moving into urban areas looking for food and a little more warmth.  But secondly, and the reason why higher bird diversity has been maintained since then, is that we’ve been developing the garden and planting more shrubs, small trees, etc.

So since 2012 we’ve gone from this:

2012-02-22 10.19.23

To this:

The garden 20180127_114638.png

This planting and development of the garden has been good for other wildlife including bees, butterflies and other pollinators, as I’ve recounted a number of times.  So here’s a close up from last summer just to remind us that, on this grey, drizzly January day, spring is not so far away:

20160702_100724

Of course you don’t need to have a garden to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch – the RSPB also accepts data from surveys of public parks and green space.  In fact tomorrow morning I’m leading a group of residents around our local park, The Racecourse, to do just such a survey.

Right, must go and upload this years data to the RSPB’s site.

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16 Comments

Filed under Biodiversity, Birds, Gardens, RSPB

16 responses to “Big Garden Birdwatch – our first six years of data

  1. Nerd! (jk I ❤ birds!) Wish I could go on a birding survey with you, I've yet to see a lesser redpoll

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Murtagh's Meadow

    Your garden looks lovely and the birds are obviously liking it too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, wow! What a change in your garden. It looks like a real wildlife haven. 🙂 Fab work!

    -Emma

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sadly, I haven’t seen any birds this weekend. I even put out seeds and fat for them but clearly they have been looking for food elsewhere. That said, blackbirds and pigeons are generally about. No doubt there are some magpies as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your garden looks so much nicer and more interesting now. I can see your neighbours’ haven’t changed theirs as much.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. biodiversity can happen in your own back garden and you sure proved it, LOVELY

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: What to do with plastic plant labels? Here’s one idea. | Jeff Ollerton's Biodiversity Blog

  8. Patricia Tedd

    Beautiful garden and how amazing, enjoyed the blog as love the birds and feed them every day.

    Liked by 1 person

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