Since moving to Back Tor Farm from a more urban area, we’ve enjoyed observing the different bird species more prominent in this upland farming environment. Bramblings, redpolls, siskins, curlews, the occasional lapwing and the big flocks of fieldfares who swoop in and strip our trees and hedgerows of their autumn harvest.
We’ve been taking part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch for the last three years. Its been interesting, and in some instances sad, to make a record of the little feathery visitors who come to feed on our peanuts and sunflower hearts.
The first time we took part, we struggled to count the number of chaffinches. The ground under the bird feeders was alive with up to thirty at a time. It was a very cold, windy, but sunny day this year with a dusting of snow up on Kinder in the background. The numbers seem greatly reduced. Maybe some birds chose to stay snuggled up out of the wind?
Crows and magpies are on the increase - does that mean that their natural predators, birds of prey are in decline?
On the up side, we have lots of goldfinches and more robins and blackbirds than I’ve ever seen before. Also our resident couple of great spotted woodpeckers didn’t let us down. These shy creatures visit us several times a day feasting on peanuts and the odd insect hiding in a tree trunk.
I’m just wondering as I get ready to submit my results to the RSPB - do chickens count?
Happy birdwatching folks!