RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

This weekend in the UK is when the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch takes place. They encourage everyone to sit and record the type and number of birds that visit their garden during a one hour period on one of the two days. This has been happening each year for the past 30 years and is reckoned to be the largest survey of its kind in the world. The survey provides important information about the changes in numbers of birds using our gardens in the winter, and helps alert conservationists to species in decline like house sparrows, greenfinches and starlings.

I thought this would be a good reason to post some photos (some good, some bad) of some of the birds that visit my garden. Most of the pictures have been taken over the last couple of weeks with my new camera, but there are a few taken with the old one. My last post was a moan about the new camera changing my settings to get the right exposure at the expense of blurry photos, hence the references to cameras.

The first bird featured is a newcomer to the garden, but seems to have taken a liking as he has returned most days for the last week or so. I was very pleased to welcome a blackcap. He appears to be on his own and stands his own ground when others approach.

This woodpigeon is always about and tries, with all his mates, to eat all the food I put out.

Wood pigeon

Wood Pigeon

Spring is on the way because these next two have started fighting (well perhaps not these exact two) and I mean mid air fighting, real fisticuffs. So there is a female about, territory to be won.

The same thing is happening with the blackbirds. There is a continual chase through the garden, over the fence and back again with some raucous squawking at times.

Blackbird - Canon


Blue tits are probably the most frequent visitors and usually arrive in a flock with great tits, coal tits and the blackbirds. The one on the left was taken with the Canon (down in the shade) and the other the Nikon (up in the light).

This is from last year as I didn’t see the greenfinches or goldfinches today although they appear almost every other day. I had a play with frames as well.


Greenfinch framed

Here are some goldfinches, taken with the Nikon bridge camera.

The next birds are both types of crow and are rather larger than most birds that visit the garden.

The magpie was taken with the new Canon camera and the jay with the old Nikon. I think the Canon takes better photos, but I struggled last week in the dull overcast weather to get sharp pictures. The magpie is down on the ground where the light is poorest and the jay was up in the air on a brighter day. In the dull weather, whatever mode I used, the camera would insist on turning down the shutter speed.

One bird I was delighted to see in the garden a few times at the beginning of winter was a nuthatch.


Nuthatch feeding

Of course, it did not show it’s face during this weekend, so will miss out on the counting game. I hope all who took part enjoyed their birdwatch.

Well that’s a selection of the birds that visit Boro Garden (see tab above – The Bird Table) and brings me to the conclusion that for me a bright sunny day is the better requirement for a decent photo. The Nikon has no manual controls so the shutter speed is governed by the light available and can only be influenced by changing the ISO setting or scene mode. The Canon has manual controls in addition to auto, but in poor light I still find the camera sets the shutter speed.

I will persevere.

That’s enough for this post. Thanks for your visit which I hope you enjoy.


4 thoughts on “RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

  1. You managed quite a wide variety of species of birds! The photos are quite good from either of the cameras, but I think that the new one has more potential once you figure it out. Too bad Canon writes their manuals so poorly, and you often have to read the fine print on the bottom of a page to learn what you really need to know.


  2. Yey! You got a Black cap! I’ve never seen one. Maybe one day, I’m improving the garden all the time. I’ve seen the odd Jay, but we don’t get those often either.

    Wish I could help with the camera stuff. I still struggle to get my head round the technical stuff. Good luck, I’m sure you’ll sort it.

    Thanks for sharing your birdwatch 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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