Back Garden Bird Race tomorrow (20 September 10-11)

19 September 2020 | Posted in Michael Blencowe
Back Garden Bird Race tomorrow (20 September 10-11)

We're heading towards Autumn now - it's the Autumn equinox on Tuesday! There 's a lot of change in the air and a lot of our summer migrants will already be well on their way south to the Sahara by now. meanwhile Swallows are gathering in the skies and Chiff-chaffs and Blackcaps are stocking up on insects and berries, filling their fuel tanks before their epic journeys.

16 roger

(Blackcap. Photo by Roger Wilmshurst)

Back garden bird feeders are getting busier too - so it's a good chance to stock up on peanuts and fat balls and take part in tomorrow's Back Garden Bird Race.

Throughout the darker days of the Covid-19 pandemic our weekly Bird Race event gave a lot of people a reason to step out into the garden or stare out of their window and get away from the bleak news.

We asked people to note down every species of bird seen or heard from their garden or window between 10-11 on a Sunday. For many it provided a vital distraction during these challenging times and became the only fixture in a week where the days started to merge into one. It also gave us all the chance to enjoy our local wildlife, learn some bird i.d. and take part in a group activity while locked down in our homes.

We'll be running the monthly Bird Race again this Sunday (20 September) - same time (10-11) and same rules apply (see our Bird Race page here)

Everybody is welcome to take part - whether veteran Bird Racers or first timers. I'll dust off my Back Garden Bird Race t-shirt and will be racing live, as usual, on our Sussex Wildlife Trust Nature Table Facebook page.

You can join us there or leave your bird lists in the comments section below this blog (before 1pm please). I'll write a new blog post with the results and post it on Sunday afternoon (in the 'News' section of the SWT homepage

Good luck!


  • c hydes:

    20 Sep 2020 10:05:00

    Walberton (16) . Windy and got forced indoors for 10 minutes due to a sharp shower. No blackbird but most noticeable feature was huge numbers of hirundines. Thanks Michael for organising our hour of fun! Cast list in order of appearance:
    carrion crow
    herring gull
    house sparrow
    wood pigeon
    collared dove
    blue tit
    house martin
    jackdaw (heard)
    black headed gull
    great tit

  • Anne Hart:

    20 Sep 2020 10:17:00

    Rural garden near Crowborough. Highlight of the hour was a close-up view of a pair of Blackcaps enjoying the bird bath.
    Song Thrush
    Blue Tit
    Wood Pigeon
    Stock Dove
    Great Tit
    Carrion Crow
    13 species
    Many thanks, Michael

  • Alan, Lewes:

    20 Sep 2020 10:20:00

    Rather quiet, but they are around if you wait for them. It would be easier if less than 90% were jackdaws!
    Sightings: House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Blackbird, Magpie, Chiffchaff, Herring Gull, Robin, Woodpigeon, Blackcap, Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Dunnock. 13 in total.

  • Simon Linington:

    20 Sep 2020 10:21:00

    Hi Michael, A total of 22 species (4 heard only) this morning from here in Barcombe:

    Blue Tit
    Great Tit
    Great Spotted Woodpecker (heard)
    Nuthatch (heard)
    Herring Gull
    Black-headed Gull
    Goldfinch (8)
    Greenfinch (6)
    House Sparrow (heard)
    Collared Dove
    Swallow (4 flying SE)
    Buzzard (3)
    Chiffchaff (heard in song)
    House Martin (8 flying NE and a further 20 distant hirundines also headed the wrong way!)

    Regards, Simon

  • Liz C:

    20 Sep 2020 10:37:00

    I was so excited to see a Chiffchaff and Blackcap in the Spindle, Bramble and Hawthorn by our kitchen, then I read your blog, they are obviously stocking up for their journey, just as you said! 14 today Blackbird, Blackcap, Blue Tit, Carrion Crow, Chiffchaff, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Jackdaw, Magpie, Nuthatch, Robin, Starling, Woodpigeon.

  • Ralph Guilbert:

    20 Sep 2020 10:47:00

    20th September
    Wood Pigeon
    Green Woodpecker
    Pied Wagtails
    Bluetit Moorhen 3 Buzzards overhead
    Large group of Hiundines passed high overhead

  • 20 Sep 2020 11:08:00

    Only 23 today, a move from my usual spot to avoid the wind evidently didn’t pay off! Little groups of Siskins flying past throughout the hour.
    Chiff-chaff, Woodpigeon, Herring Gull, Great Tit, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Rook, Blue Tit, Robin, Green Woodpecker, Bullfinch, Blach-headed Gull, Siskin, Blackcap, House Sparrow, Swallow, House Martin, Curlew, Magpie, Nuthatch, Stock Dove, Buzzard, Starling.

  • Eddy & Barbara Richardson:

    20 Sep 2020 11:41:00

    Having trouble with the App so using comments section. Unlucky 13 in count today. Birds as follows:- Rook, Jackdaw, Collared Dove, Wood Pigeon, Blackbird, Robin, Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Chiff Chaff, Herring Gull, Cormorant Great Spotted Woodpecker, Wren. A cormorant replaced raptors & swallows in the high fly-over.

  • Louise Holloway:

    20 Sep 2020 12:18:00

    Sorry to miss the bird race 1pm deadline. Here are sightings for BN7 1QS incase not too late.
    Chiff chaff, collared dove, carrion crow, Nuthatch, Robin, coal tit, blue tit, great tit, dunnock, starling, magpie, great spotted woodpecker, blackbird, woodpigeon.

Leave a comment