Our Feathered Friends: Quarry Bank’s Big Garden Bird Watch 2013

Quarry Bank isn’t just home to humans. Both the gardens and Styal Estate are home to a variety of different species, including a huge variety of birds.

Quarry Bank Gardens in Winter

The gardens here at Quarry Bank covers a vast 13 acres including formal gardens meadow and woodland walks. Ann Gaughan, one of our gardeners, felt that the gardens provided the perfect setting to lead a team of staff and volunteers from the Garden Team, Visitor Reception, and the Rangers team, to participate in the RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch for the first time.

Derek Hatton snapped this Treecreeper
Derek Hatton snapped this Treecreeper

Ann explains that the event was set up in 1979 “as an activity for children to encourage their interest and understanding of the birds they saw most regularly in their gardens and to establish the top 10 birds in the country…realise the changes in the population of different bird species in Britain.”

The team spotted two nuthatches
The team spotted two nuthatches

Ann and her team had a plan of action and the day before the big event the Garden team “set up 3 feeding stations in the Upper garden…and on the morning of the 27th, 8 intrepid birders turned up to help with the count. We were really lucky and had a lovely sunny morning as we headed out into the snowy garden to count birds”.

The team managed to spot four Bluetits
The team managed to spot four Bluetits

“We separated into pairs and monitored the feeding stations with a couple of teams moving between them. We saw 17 different species including Goldcrests – the smallest British birds.”

Here’s a list of all the birds the teams managed to spot in the garden:

Nuthatches 2
Tree creepers 2
Goldcrests 2
Wren 1
Redwings 2
Blue tit 4
Mistle Thrush 1
Blackbirds 3
Magpies 5
Crows 2
Pigeon 2
Goldfinch 1
Robin 1
Blackbirds 3
Marsh tit 1
Coal tit 3
Long tail tit 6
Great tit 5

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