The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2020, this weekend, and I got Emily and Harry to assist me with the count. Sadly, the time that they were able to join me coincided with our neighbours doing some work in their own garden and this disturbance certainly had a very negative effect on the numbers and species diversity we were able to record.
Gull numbers were certainly a casualty of the events beyond the adjoining fence line, as I'd fed the lawn with two loaves and would have expected in excess of thirty Herring Gulls to be attracted, but the reality meant just three, along with a single Black-headed Gull, made an appearance during the chosen hour. Feral pigeons, on the other hand, had no such fear of the situation and peaked at 51 birds. House Sparrows remain very numerous around the feeding station and peaked at 39 during the hour, although this number was beaten subsequently with a total in excess of 55 in the late afternoon. Sparrowhawk and Jackdaw were recorded in the garden during the day, but didn't feature in the hour we spent thus didn't count in our effort. No sign of Wren or Dunnock was a bit weird given the regular sightings in the preceding weeks and the other species we did record were Blackbird - 1 male, Robin 1, Collared Dove 2, Magpie 1, Blue Tit 3, Great Tit 2, Starling 2 and Rose-ringed Parakeet 2. Very enjoyable to be able to take part, but rather disappointing for the kids given the build up I'd pitched to them on Friday!
It really was a very gloomy day and I needed to resort to ISO 1600 1/500th sec to secure a few images to accompany this post. Not a true reflection of the drawing power of the feeding station, but I suppose it is a very accurate snap shot of an hour in our Thanet garden? Four more species added to the garden photo challenge; I really can't include Feral Pigeon, it's just wrong! (Unless I'm on 49 species cum December 31st?)