I decided to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, organised by the RSPB (https://www.rspb.org.uk/). This involved watching the birds in our garden for an hour over the weekend and recording which ones I saw during that time. I thought I could manage that!
We have a perfect spot in our back bedroom to sit and watch. Also, Pete had bought me a special birdwatching hat for my birthday, which he assured me would enable me to see more birds!
So I got myself prepared with the essential equipment of binoculars, birdwatching hat and mug of tea, and sat and waited. And waited.
I saw a neighbour’s cat prowling along a wall. I watched leaves quivering in the hedge (it’s surprising how like birds they look!). I watched next door’s hens pecking contentedly.
This was going to be a long hour.
Suddenly, there was a flurry high above and two magpies sat in our tree for a couple of minutes. Quickly noted!
I drank some tea and nibbled some snacks.
A robin hopped across the garden from the hedge to the compost bin and back again. Noted!
Then the robin went mad! It hopped back and forth, hid in the bush for a bit, then flew off into a neighbour’s garden. Then it was back. At one point there were even two at once in the garden. It felt like there were many more. Now I had a new problem – this robin was too fidgety for me to take a photo!
Then a blue tit, or maybe more, flitted by – it might have just been one busy one. As I watched, it actually pecked at the fat ball of food we’d put out.
Along the hedge, almost too fast to see and looking very like fluttering leaves (but they weren’t!), a couple of thrushes chased each other, weaving in and out of the branches. I put aside the binoculars – I couldn’t dart about fast enough with them and kept losing the birds. It was simpler just to watch the dancing display in front of me.
At the end of the hour, when I had given up hope of seeing her, a little wren made an appearance. I’d only seen her for the first time a couple of days previously so it was wonderful that she made the survey, just in the nick of time!
I was very pleased with my efforts, or rather that of our feathered visitors, and to be able to take part in this 36-year-old survey.