All Of A Twitter

If any more proof were needed of my sudden interest in bird watching, I present these woefully bad (for the most part) photos taken from my kitchen windows of the garden birds we were counting  as we joined in with the R.S.P.B.’s* annual Big Garden Birdwatch which took place this weekend.  It’s the world’s largest bird survey and has been running every year since 1979.

I thought of using better photos (i.e. other people’s) but where’s the fun in that?

Watched over by one of the many rooks who roost in our oak tree and fill the fields beyond, we had to count the birds actually landing in our garden for one hour, logging the amount of each species seen at one time, rather than individuals, for more accuracy.

The wildlife charity encouraged people to take part to help “lift spirits” in the latest lockdown, after a survey conducted for the charity revealed that watching birds and listening to birdsong have helped people during the pandemic.

Great Spotted Woodpecker


My favourite – the blackbird – looking right back at you.

Male Blackbird

I treat my favourites to mealworms – this is the sort of woman I’ve become.

A pair of Collared (Lovey) Doveys

Robin – you knew that though didn’t you!

 A Great Tit cracking open a sunflower seed

A Blue Tit feasting on the remains of the peanuts the previous occupant of our house left for the badgers.

A Dunnock who was a willing poser.

Make sure you get my best side.

Goldfinches – the biggest guzzlers of the sunflower hearts.

Long Tailed Tits who always seem to come mob handed.

So while I was inexpertly pointing my front heavy be-telescopiced lens camera out through slightly smeary windows and trying to capture the proof, Mr. Tialys and Miss Tialys the Younger, were noting down the figures.  Sometimes it was frustrating because there are often wood pigeons in the garden as well as crows and starlings but none landed within our chosen hour of  10.15 – 11.15 so we couldn’t add them to the survey.  Also, we often get loads of goldfinches together at one time, but again, we only saw two at the same time within the hour so that was all we could submit.

We had fun anyway – it was something to relieve the ‘every day’s the same’ feeling I’m thinking a lot of people are starting to experience lately.

So – what was the score for the *Royal Society for the Protection of Birds survey?

The largest amount of each species spotted together that landed in our garden between 10.15 and 11.15 a.m on Sunday, 31st January.

Long Tailed Tit  –  8

Rooks                –  8

Chaffinch           –  4

Sparrow             –  4

Blue Tit              –  3

Great Tit            –  2

Blackbird           –  2

Collared Dove   –  2

Jackdaw             –  2

Robin, Coal Tit, Dunnock, Pied Wagtail, Treecreeper, Goldfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker – 1 of each

We kept the cats indoors!

Are you finding your usual pursuits just aren’t doing it for you at the moment and doing things you wouldn’t normally do to lift your spirits or are you relying on tried and trusted methods.


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  1. #1 by Laurie Graves on January 31, 2021 - 16:41

    Counting those fluttering beauties is a great way to beat the Covid-19 blues. The cat’s expression is priceless and indicates what felines think of counting birds. 😉

    • #2 by tialys on January 31, 2021 - 17:59

      I’m keeping those felines inside more and more since we’ve moved here – they no longer have a cat flap as they did in France so they have to ask permission and I don’t always grant it 🤣

  2. #3 by Wild Daffodil on January 31, 2021 - 16:41

    That’s quite a bird count! Long-tailed tits are my favourites, I love the slightly pink tinge to their feathers.
    I really like your monotone photo of the rook in the branches – even though I HATE rooks – we have far too many here and they keep the little birds away a lot of the time. And the noise – erghhhh!
    I had 6 of my neighbours chickens in my garden this morning – they had a fine old time scratching around in the newly laid compost mulch, which is now all over the paths, but I loved to see them, so I don’t mind.
    Lockdown isn’t so very different for me and I am getting more art and crafting time, which makes me very happy.
    I wonder how well I’m going to adjust when we can mingle once again – I do however miss going to Pembrokeshire and I will be heading that way ASAP – bring on the vaccine!

    • #4 by tialys on January 31, 2021 - 18:02

      The rooks are good for setting up a warning if I allow the cats out during the day. I don’t mind them really and we still seem to have plenty of the small ones around so maybe we have friendly rooks.
      I do miss having chickens, they really are amusing to watch aren’t they.
      We may all have lost the art of mingling – which would be shame as I do love a good mingle.

  3. #5 by craftycreeky on January 31, 2021 - 17:01

    We’ve taken part this year too, we only see a woodpecker once in a blue moon and the goldfinches are summer visitors up here, but we do have a pair of bullfinches and nuthatches and at a rough guess as they never sit still we reckon about 12 long tailed tits 🙂

    • #6 by tialys on January 31, 2021 - 18:04

      Funny now you mention it. Nuthatches were very common on our bird feeder in France but we haven’t seen any here yet. Can’t have everything I suppose 😉

  4. #7 by claire93 on January 31, 2021 - 18:13

    what a lovely way to spend an hour! We get quite a lot of blue tits and great tits in the garden. Crows & magpies tend to keep to the orchard or neighbouring Woodland. Can’t say I’m knowledgeable about birds to have recognised many others in our garden.

    • #8 by tialys on January 31, 2021 - 19:25

      It’s quite an addiction once you start ‘watching’ – as you might have noticed from my exploits.

  5. #9 by nanacathy2 on January 31, 2021 - 18:24

    Love your birds- so disappointed with the ones we have here- magpies and pigeons for the main part, although we do have great tits, a robin and blackbirds. I tried feeding them in the forlorn patch and got a RAT for my pains- that was the end of that.

    • #10 by tialys on January 31, 2021 - 19:23

      That’s a shame. Did you use hanging feeders?

  6. #11 by anne54 on January 31, 2021 - 21:58

    That’s an impressive list of birds, and to think you could have added more. As well as adding variety to your lockdown days, bird watching must be a good way to settle yourself into the new countryside.

    • #12 by tialys on February 1, 2021 - 11:54

      The downside of appreciating the large amount and variety of birds is I’m not allowing my cats out until after dark – and even then I make them wear a collar with a bell on it.😾😿🙀😼

  7. #13 by Susan Nixon on January 31, 2021 - 22:44

    Oh my goodness! Look at that variety AND volume numbers! Great shots you managed to get.

    • #14 by tialys on February 1, 2021 - 11:52

      Thank you Susan. I suppose they’re not too bad since I took them with a telescopic lens against the window glass and didn’t put the camera on a tripod for stability. I just took loads of shots and deleted loads too. I didn’t bother to edit any of them either.

  8. #15 by CurlsnSkirls on January 31, 2021 - 23:06

    Agreeing you’ve an impressive variety of birds round your new place. Over here in suburbia-apartment=-complex land I can sometimes hear birdies, but don’t get to see any, much less ID them. Such an excellent plan for everyone to turn in their tallies once a year! xx

    • #16 by tialys on February 1, 2021 - 11:50

      Do you have a balcony? Mind you, my daughter lives in an apartment where there are numerous rules about what you can and can’t do and I think bird feeders on balconies are banned. 😕

      • #17 by CurlsnSkirls on February 1, 2021 - 19:16

        Yes, when I lived in an apt. complex with balconies feeders were banned – so others below didn’t have to clean up… you know! 😉 And so other animals (🐁 🐀) weren’t attracted… sad, but true. No, I don’t have a balcony.

  9. #18 by cedar51 on February 1, 2021 - 04:44

    Love the variety you saw even in that “hour of survey timeframe” – I suspect it’s your large garden that attracts so many.

    • #19 by tialys on February 1, 2021 - 11:48

      Possibly and we are surrounded by fields, hedgerows and not that many people. Although a family were out walking and stopped to talk to somebody on the lane right beneath our oak tree and sent clouds of birds up into the sky. Luckily it was just after our ‘watching hour’ had finished otherwise I’d have had to ask them to move on 😉

  10. #20 by M. L. Kappa on February 1, 2021 - 08:39

    Brilliant idea! I should do it too…

    • #21 by tialys on February 1, 2021 - 11:46

      It was a lot of fun to do even though we had trouble submitting our results to the RSPB afterwards – their website seemed a bit creaky. Still, we know what we saw 😁

  11. #22 by Jamie@hookthisweavethat on February 1, 2021 - 09:19

    I love those little long tailed tits, you’ll be signed up to the RSPB Birdwatch shortly.

    • #23 by tialys on February 1, 2021 - 11:45

      We did sign up – you had to choose one hour to watch and note down what you saw between last Friday and Sunday.

      • #24 by Jamie@hookthisweavethat on February 1, 2021 - 14:52

        I think I was trying to do two things at sometime and failed 😞 I see it in your post.

  12. #25 by kathyreeves on February 1, 2021 - 14:24

    So many birds! What an enjoyable hour that must have been.🙂

  13. #26 by magpiesue on February 5, 2021 - 19:37

    I’m impressed your were able to get any good photos at all! And what a lovely variety of bird life. We have a resident flock of sparrows and the occasional migratory visitor. I always enjoy watching whoever comes within sight. 🙂

    • #27 by tialys on February 6, 2021 - 10:26

      As I type, Mr. Tialys has the binoculars out and telling me what he can see in the garden 🙄 It’s the new obsession.

  14. #28 by Born To Organize on February 12, 2021 - 14:52

    What an amazing variety of birds, all visiting within the hour. I like that you took on this endeavor as a family. You’ve got me thinking about the type of birds that visit our garden. It’s not nearly as diverse as yours. I must admit to a broad grin at your cat pic at the end. Do your cats chitter through the windows at the birds?

    As for the Dunnock, he looks cross when viewed straight on, also making me grin.

    • #29 by tialys on February 12, 2021 - 16:45

      One of the cats has a very loud chitter. At the moment, I am only letting the cats out after nightfall – the three of them that want to anyway – and even then I make them wear a bell. I have become very protective of our bird life.

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