I thought I’d do a quick run-down on the birds that I’ve seen in my garden this year. This is not helped by the fact that I have a memory like a goldfish and can’t remember last week, let alone anything I might have seen in the garden over the last 12 months!
My garden is moreorless a rural one. Although we live in a terrace, the gardens are fairly large and not immediately overlooked. The rear of the garden backs onto a small lane, the other side of which is one row of houses and then open farmland, leading to mixed woodland. There is a river nearby, although far enough away that we don’t get any waterfowl in the garden (but there was one rainy night when we were walking the dog and I rescued a duck that had wandered into the road, stopping a lorry and several cars in my mission to herd it back to the river – which I eventually managed to do).
As a child I wasn’t particularly interested in garden birds. That said, in childhood gardens we always fed birds over winter and provided nest boxes of differing sizes, and saw a few species that are considered rarities now, such as the Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) and Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) as well as all kinds of warblers, finches, tits and a whole host of others. It wasn’t really until an adult and I really delved into ‘birds are dinosaurs’ that I began to appreciate birds for what they are to me – beautiful bundles of evolutionary perfection.
Our previous house had a tiny garden and neighbours both sides would feed the local birds. One side was nuts and feeders. The other was … great chunks of bread scattered on the lawn. There was also a roost of starlings nearby. Consequently the only visitors were either pigeons or the starlings.
Despite the prevalence of cats in the area, we’ve not done too badly for feathered visitors since we’ve been here – although none have a whiff of the exotic about them, I do still get a bit of a thrill when I see them on the feeders or bobbing about on the grass – especially when I can recognise them! I dare say that this list is not exhaustive and I’ll keep a better eye out throughout next year and take a bit of a note about the visitors we do get. Maybe buy some kind of spotters guide that I can tick …
- House Sparrow Passer domesticus
- Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus
- Great Tit Parus major
- Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
- European Robin Erithacus rubecula
- Eurasian Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
- Common Blackbird Turdus merula
- Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
- Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris
- Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
- Common Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus
- Eurasian Magpie Pica pica
Rook Corvus frugilegusClearly not a Rook. Tis a Jackdaw.
- Western Jackdaw Corvus monedula
- European Green Woodpecker Picus viridis
- Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
- Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
- European Herring Gull Larus argentatus (Never fed in the garden, but present overhead due to proximity of rubbish dump just over half a mile away – which sounds worse than it actually is.)