Monday, 27 January 2014

rspb big garden birdwatch

Not the nicest day here in the islands yesterday for sitting out in the garden to count birds, especially for wimps like me, so I sat by the kitchen window instead while the gales raged outside. This was because of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, which was over this weekend, encouraging people to record the birds they see over an hour. This is the 35th year of the Birdwatch and the results allow them to monitor numbers and trends and hopefully come up with some ideas to put things right. The starling, for example, is down 80% since the Birwatch began - and although we usually see lots of them here, not one showed up yesterday. The poor birds who did were clinging to the feeders for dear life before disappearing to find somewhere sheltered to hide. Can't say I blamed them! 

I didn't see any rooks yesterday, and attempts to sketch the sparrows swinging wildly on the feeders were hopeless. My fault, not theirs! So here's a recent sketch of a rook instead. I'm very fond of rooks.

The only interesting visitor was a pheasant - a few years ago we would never have seen any of these here, but now they are a regular occurrence. They are pretty, but absolutely rotten gardeners.


Sharon Whitley said...

I took part in the bird watch too and was very disappointed - only 2 goldfinches, 2 blackbirds, 2 dunnocks and a robin made an appearance - I usually get loads more than that but it's been very quiet this year - I suspect becuase of the milder weather but I do miss them! Love your rook! I should try harder to draw from life, I always use my photos - they stay still!!!

Tracy Hall said...

I'm jealous of your goldfinches! We've not had much luck enticing them into the garden here at all. It was silly of me to try sketching the sparrows that day - nothing was staying still for even a second, the tree, the feeder or the birds! Photos are certainly easier :)

RETA said...

Tracy, I love your work and admire your talent. I have never seen a rook! I am a desert-dweller and see Goldfinch daily, as well as hummers. We have 14 different kinds of hummingbirds in this area. Keep watching and sketching!


Mary Sheehan Winn said...

beautiful sketch and a cool bird. I don't know that we have them here in the Boston area.
I've been particularly interested in the birds this winter and love feeding, watching and painting them.
I'm amazed by their resourcefulness and ability to survive such harsh weather.

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