|A snap shot through the window of today's female Blackcap, the first of the winter, on the Christmas cake feeder. It appeared just after I'd finished the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch, but visited on and off throughout the morning.|
As this hugely popular citizen science survey lasts only one hour, you have to time your run right. One year I had a dismal seven species, a poor showing in my small but typically wildlife-rich urban oasis in north London. Today was better, with 37 birds of 13 species actually in the garden between 08:10-09:10. In order of appearance, they were Blue Tit (3), Blackbird (5), Chaffinch (3), Robin (2), Starling (2), Goldfinch (6), Great Tit (2), Magpie (2), Wren (1), Dunnock (1), Woodpigeon (4), Collared Dove (2) and Greenfinch (4). A Carrion Crow and three Black-headed Gulls which flew over fell outside the terms of the survey but took the garden day list up to 15 species, while no sooner had I finished and entered the totals into the RSPB website than the first Blackcap of the winter, a female, appeared on the Christmas cake feeder!