Thursday, 23 December 2010

Have a birdy brilliant Christmas

Just one sleep to Christmas Eve – now are you feeling festive or frazzled? In the later camp? Yes? Okay, here’s a welcome distraction that might help you unwind.

Andrew over at TALES OF A WESSEX REIVER, has invited bloggers to join him for an informal Christmas Blogging-Bird Competition. I’m guessing non-bloggers would be welcome via comments too :-)



With lingering cold temperatures, snow and a sore head just not shifting I do fancy taking part. Unlike Andrew, shown above, I’m not planning to get on my bike and plan to mostly window watch for his Competition. I also plan to update my sightings in my sidebar for an extra bit of competitive fun :-)

Not considering this a serious competition at all, I have considered my feathered friends when festive food shopping. I’ve bought a few new treats for them too. Sh… don’t tell Andrew. I wouldn’t like him to think I was bribing my garden visitors to win his competition ;-)

To take part all you need to do is “count the number of different wild bird species you see or hear, between 00.00 on 25th December (i.e. midnight on Christmas Eve) and 24.00 on 1st January (i.e midnight at the end of New Year's Day).”

Andrew is splitting the Competition into two sections and will collate all entries and publish them in January. Section 1 is “the highest garden list (that is, perched in, flying over or seen from a garden or urban park if you don't have a garden)”. Section 2 is the “total number of bird species seen over the Christmas period anywhere”. Have fun if you join in.

Let’s come back to sleeps, this time the cold winter ones that birds have when roosting, and an email from Andrew a few weeks ago. He had received a press release from the BTO and kindly passed it on to me. For those who have nestboxes and roosting pockets in your garden this might be of interest to you too. Thanks for the thumbs up Andrew :-)

The BTO are very interested in which species roost in nest boxes and roosting pouches in our gardens during winter. Do you know if blue tits roost in your nest boxes? What about any roosting pockets you’ve put up, have you spotted any birds going in or out at dusk and/or dawn?

Mm… I’m feeling a bit guilty on the roosting pockets as I do believe I spotted one in my shed the last time I was in. I should look it out when it is daylight and put it up. Perhaps I’ll set a camera on it to see how quickly it gets used and who might go in it.

The Roosting Survey by the BTO started on December the 14th so it’s well underway now. With the freezing temperatures we’ve been having here in the UK I’d take a guess that small birds especially will be on the lookout for a warm place for the night and many nestboxes will be occupied.

All you need to do is choose just ONE evening over the winter to look in your nestboxes via a camera if you have one or keep an eye out at dusk/dawn. If you do fancy joining in, the BTO suggest you read the survey instructions.




Looking via my two nestbox cameras tonight I can see that I still have two Blue Tits Roosting in them (one in each). They have been there a couple of months now. I’ll be honest and say that I am always thrilled to think that by having nestboxes in my garden I am helping birds survive a cold night.

Still on the subject of Surveys, I should perhaps give a quick mention/reminder here of the 2011 RSPB Big Garden BIRDWATCH at the end of January for anyone that is wondering when it is. It is running over the weekend of the 29th/30th of January.

For those new to birds and the RSPB BIRDWATCH I also received an email from the team at the Dobbies Blog who posted videos of this year’s top ten birds. I have also posted the stats with comparisons for the last 4 years that may also be of interest to anyone that has missed it.

Finally, I’d like to say I’ve been missing visiting my blogging friends, posting and taking photos and video in the last few weeks. I hope you are all well and staying safe and warm this winter.

Just two sleeps to Christmas Morning – can you believe it? I do hope you are feeling as festive as you’d like to be and I'd like to send you the warmest of wishes for a wonderful time with all those dear to you. I'll end with a favourite festive video from last December with a seasonal soundtrack.



Merry Christmas Everyone :-)

15 comments:

Anna said...

I hope that you enjoy Christmas Shirl and all best wishes for the New Year. May it treat you, your feathered friends and your garden kindly xxx

Rusty said...

An interesting thought. Neither festive nor frazzled at the moment. It's been a reasonably warm day here (About 0C going down to about a -6) - lots of snow on the ground - lots of birds teasing the local grey squirrels at the feeder - and a nightly visit from a friendly skunk. (No smell, thank goodness) Have a merry Christmas. ATB!

leavesnbloom said...

Have a Happy Christmas and Blessed New Year with your family Shirl.

Midmarsh John said...

Very best Christmas wishes to you and yours Shirl. Thanks to your link I have added my Great Tit to the BTO roosting survey.

VP said...

Merry Christmas Shirl :)

Have a wonderful time and 'see' you in the New Year.

I was thinking about the RSPB birdwatch only yesterday - saw some magpies at our bird feeders yesterday. Shows how desperate things are getting for our feathered friends.

easygardener said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you too Shirl. Have a great time over the festive season :-)

Gardeningbren said...

Have a very merry Christmas Shirl. Hope it is Merry and Bright.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

A very merry Christmas to you and yours, Shirl and may your sore head be sore no longer. Get well soon!


There are lots of birds in the Bliss garden at the mo. They seem to love my new birdfeeder a lot.

Yolanda XXX

The Early Birder said...

Sending our best wishes to you and your family for a Glorious Christmas plus plenty of bird sightings. Cheers FAB & Anita.

Orchids and Nature said...

We wish you a very merry Christmas a happy New Year
Best wishes from Audrey & David

Juliet said...

Thanks for visiting, Shirl - I am trying to do the same, but have found that other things keep distracting me today, so it's rather late. I'll finish catching up and watch your video another day - for now I'll just wish you and your family a merry Christmas and a happy & healthy new year!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Merry Christmas Shirley. I hope you and yours are healthy and able to enjoy the holiday. I will be counting those birds too. It will be fun.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Merry Christmas and I hope you are enjoying your Holiday!

em said...

happy holidays, shirl! veddy cute robin!

shirl said...

Thanks to you all for your Christmas and New Year wishes. I hope everyone is well and has a good time over the holidays :-D

It is good to hear that you've all been enjoying seeing and feeding birds in your gardens.

John, glad you got that link.

VP, Magpies at your feeders... scary!

Yolanda, thanks. My sore head is still hanging about but not as bad as it has been :-)

Juliet, I know how it is :-)