Quarry Bank’s Big Garden Birdwatch 2014

Today I’m handing over to our gardener Ann, to tell you all about this year’s Big Garden Birdwatch at Quarry Bank.

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch was started 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. By carrying out a simple count at the same time every year the data collected can be compared. It takes place the last weekend in January and has helped the RSPB to realise the changes in the population of different bird species in Britain.

This goldcrest was snapped by Derek
This goldcrest was snapped by Derek

 On Saturday the 25th January we held the second Quarry Bank Big Garden Birdwatch. We had a  group of garden staff and volunteers from several departments on what promised to be a wet and windy day.  The gardens at Quarry Bank include the formal Lower gardens, the Mill Meadow, and woodland walks; we thought this range of habitat would give us plenty of scope to spot some birds.


We have 3 feeding stations in the upper garden which are monitored by Derek Hatton of the Rangers volunteer team.  Altogether there were 10 of us to cover the 13 acre site. We were really lucky and had a bright morning as we carried out the count.


We also had two talented photographers with us to record some of our feathered visitors.

A Long Tail and Blue tit nibble away
A Long Tail and Blue tit nibble away

We separated into pairs and monitored the feeding stations with a couple of teams moving between them. We saw 23 different species including Goldcrests – the smallest British birds. This was an increase on last year but some of the numbers were lower and there were three species from last year we didn’t see such as the Treecreeper.

We saw : –

Nuthatches                              3

Goldcrests                                2

Wren                                         1

Blackbirds                                2

Coal tit                                      2

Long tail tit                              10

Great tit                                    3

Blue tit                                      7

Mistle Thrush                          2

Blackbirds                                2

Magpies                                    2

Raven                                        2

Pigeon                                      40 +

Robin                                       2

Great Spotted Woodpecker        2

Chaffinch                                   6

Jay                                               2

Goosander                                  1 Female

Grey Wagtail                              1

Mallard                                        1 Female

Buzzard                                       1

Kestrel                                         1

Field fare                                     2

Dunnock                                      1

 Thanks to all for their help and to Derek for the photo’s.


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