My main impression of the first month of the survey in our garden in Lower Station Road is how consistent the species and numbers have been, there has been very little variation. There has been a good variety of species, 30 in total, with perhaps a brief visit by 12 lesser redpolls being the most unusual. I’m presuming the male and female great spotted woodpeckers are the same birds as are the 2 jackdaws. Blue tit numbers range have ranged between 8 to 14 while long-tailed tits have been 4-6. I’ve no idea if the single coal tit that has visited every week is the same bird, the same can apply to the one goldfinch.

4 blackbirds have co-existed without too much friction, unlike the couple of robins that have occasionally been joined by a third. There have been just a couple of starlings every week while house sparrows have reached the dizzy heights of 14. Talking to Brian and Karen Lang up the road, just about 100 metres away, it is interesting to compare species and they never record house sparrows or starlings. They have got up to half dozen reed buntings whereas we have just recorded 2.

Weather can have an impact on what birds visit the garden and this winter we haven’t had any long spells of very cold weather, just the odd days here and there which have been interspersed with warmer days which means that birds haven’t had to range far and wide for food. The bird food which you put out in your gardens plus, because of the relatively warm winter, means there is still quite a lot of natural food available to them.

Whatever, comes to the garden though is always interesting, how they behave, pecking order at the feeders, and how different species relate to each other is good to watch. Looking forward to the next 11 months!

Mike Russell & Lesley Milward