Monday, 30 January 2012

The Siskins have it for 2012

… in my Perthshire garden that is. The time slot was on the early side yesterday at 8:15am-9:15am. Blackbirds, Blue tits, a Robin and a Dunnock appeared as expected. However, I did think it was a bit early for the Finches but for once the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch pulled out a surprise!

Quite unexpected during this early hour, Siskins, Goldfinches & Chaffinches jostled for position at four feeders with sunflower hearts. It was a tad tricky counting with the light still low. If a wren managed a visit round my small pond then I missed it completely – we’ve had a regular visitor there.

I’m delighted that our regular male Sparrowhawk was having a Sunday lie in during my count although I’m a little disappointed that the Male Brambling we’ve seen recently didn’t join our early mixed finch group. That would have been the icing on my birdcount.

This morning the Siskins were back at the feeders and as I wasn’t counting I got my video camera out to share a flavour of the activity at my feeders during my birdcount yesterday morning….





For those who can’t view my videos the stats for my 2012 count read as: 10x Siskins, 6x Chaffinches, 5x Goldfinches, 4x Blackbirds, 3x Blue tits, 2x Robins, 1x Great tit & 1x Dunnock. That was a species count of 8 which I think was pretty good for an early January morning.

The usual suspects that were missing from my count were the Coal tit, House Sparrow, Wren, Woodpigeon and recent invasions of Starlings. So that’s it for another year. Now, I need to submit my results.

March (mid-end) is usually the month the RSPB announce their results. I guess 600,000 birdcount submissions take a bit of time to collate and sort! I wonder if Siskins will make it into the Top Ten UK Birds for 2012 – could my garden feeders actually be trending for 2012. A fun thought :-)


This post was written by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in January 2012.

9 comments:

Crystal said...

I got siskins too. First sighting of them this season, and they arrived for the RSPB Garden Birdwatch. I couldn't believe my luck, until today when I saw a bullfinch. It had got 'have I missed something' written all over its face. I like the feeder in your video, by the way.

Janet said...

The Chaffinches had were top of the heap in our garden, closely followed by the Greenfinches. The tits were noticeable by their absence (only 1 blue tit). And I did spend some time sitting drinking my coffee watching nothing very much...

shirl said...

Hello again, Crystal & Janet :-)

Crystal , Now isn’t that a coincidence although our Siskins have been visiting on and off for a while. Feel for you on the Bullfinch but better late than not at all. I love that little feeder. I got it at an RSPB Shop. It’s easy to fill and clean too plus when it’s very windy the birds are still seen using it :-)

Janet, Ah… now the Chaffinches can put on a good show here but it was way back in 2008 that they took top spot here. From memory, they have taken top spot for Scotland/Perthshire in the past more than a few times. It’s great that you’ve good numbers of Greenfinches with Tricho hitting them hard. Ah… now out of all the birds I always feel cheated if the Blue tits don’t visit in usual numbers for my count. We regularly had 2/3 Coal tits so it’s a shame they missed out. Yeh… the nothing spells can be disappointing when counting. Never mind, you had an excuse to just sit and enjoy a coffee for a while :-)

Gardeningbren said...

I enjoyed that so much, as well as the accompanying music. Lovely Shirl.

Lots of bird activity here lately, saw five eagles driving back from Cape Breton, and an eagle in a wet ditch before I left with ??? a duck perhaps, also a fantastic hawk on a treetop I couldn't identify. Loved every thrilling birding moment!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Even though you had a few misses you had a good selection of birds for your count. We haven't had many species of birds at our feeders since this winter has been so mild.

Alison said...

That Chaffinch was trying very hard to get onto the feeder. We have Siskins somethimes but they didn't turn up for the bird watch on Sunday.

ShySongbird said...

Ten Siskins!!! How lovely, Shirl. The only time I have seen them in my garden was about four years ago during a very icy spell when two visited every day for about a week, it was such a thrill.

I enjoyed the video, I felt I was there with you, it was so clear. A lot of my regular species played truant for the count :-( Top of my list in numbers were Greenfinches!

Juliet said...

How lovely to have siskins! You did a lot better than I did, Shirl - though I managed a species count of 9, there weren't that many of each and there wasn't anything unusual (my results are on my blog).

shirl said...

Hello everyone, apologies for the delay in replies :-)

Bren, Nice to see you again. Glad you enjoyed the video - I’ve another ready to entertain you coming up soon. Wow… sounds like you’ve had a great birding time of it… very special with the Eagles :-)

Lisa, I think so too. Yep… we really need the cold to bring the bird species in and in any great numbers. A Yin & Yan there :-)

Alison, yes it was. It has been quite interesting to watch the Chaffinches managing the grab and go technique. It has taken them a while. I guess they watch & learn from each other now as more are feeding this way. Ah yes… the count time slot seems to signal siesta for the birds!!

Jan, yes I was thrilled with ten for my count. They are quite regular visitors here. Delighted to hear here you got some with the cold weather. Last year we were getting big groups of mixed finches with around 20-30 Siskins swooping down to the feeders. Glad you enjyed the video, but pity your birds went awal. Gold star for your Greenfinches – the RSPB will be happy to hear about them :-)))

Juliet, I was pleased with the Siskins. We get them often but not in numbers like this for the count. More numbers are good, agreed, but a good range of species tells a bigger story to the RSPB. You did well there. I’ll pop over to take a look at your count :-)