Join us for one last Back Garden Bird Race (27 December 10-11).

, 26 December 2020
Join us for one last Back Garden Bird Race (27 December 10-11).

I hope you all had a peaceful and safe Christmas.

Back in March we started a regular group activity at a time when you weren't allowed to have group activities.

Our Back Garden Bird Race event gave a lot of people a reason to step out into the garden or stare out of their window and forget everything for an hour.

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.

Well, 9 months later and it feels like we're back at the start again.

So we'll be running a special Christmas Bird Race this Sunday (27 December) - 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)  

Leave a comment


  • Simon:

    Magpie (Tier 4 non-compliant)
    House sparrow
    Blue tit
    Great tit
    Wood pigeon
    Carrion Crow
    Collard Dove
    Herring Gull

    27 Dec 2020 11:05:00

  • Margaret from Wales:

    20 today – beautiful weather (but freezing!!)
    Everything seemed to be pairing up -2 kites swooping together, until joined by a third, buzzards, woodpeckers…Spring has come early.
    Great tit
    Coal tit
    Greater Spotted Woodpecker
    Tree Creeper
    and – Red Poll – haven’t seen for two years!

    27 Dec 2020 11:09:00

  • Liz C:

    Thanks again MIchael, after the storm this was a Christmas highlight. Saw a beautiful Bullfinch, only the second time I have seen one and that was on a previous Bird Race. 17 today Blackbird, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Carrion Crow, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker (enjoying sunflower hearts on the feeder), Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Magpie, Nuthatch, Red Kite, Robin, Starling, Woodpigeon.

    27 Dec 2020 11:17:00

  • Alan, Lewes:

    A few more than the last two months, but just 11 species:
    Blue Tit, Great Tit, House Sparrow, Robin, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Dunnock.

    27 Dec 2020 11:21:00

  • Bob Eade:

    The Blackbird was happily feeding until 9.55 when it vanished. No sign of it since!!
    A couple of bonus birds, a Peregrine and a Lesser Black-backed Gull. Otherwise many of the usual subjects were no shows.
    Still, good to spend a bit of time struggling to see much. Just 14 species in a windswept Seaford.

    27 Dec 2020 11:33:00

  • Owen Hydes:

    Tier 4 Mannings Heath and sun just started to come out after the storm. 16 species as follows: carrion crow, magpie, jay, jackdaw, blackbird, redwing, blue tit, great tit, marsh tit, robin, dunnock, goldfinch, great spotted woodpecker, wood pigeon – dozens of them scattered by the star find – sparrowhawk. Many thanks for organising the race. Happy New Year to everyone

    27 Dec 2020 11:42:00

  • Colin and Janet Holter:

    Chilly but surprisingly productive in our Steyning garden after a horrendously windy night:
    1. Blackbird
    2. Robin
    3. Magpie
    4. Starling
    5. Jackdaw
    6. Carrion Crow
    7. Herring Gull
    8. Black-headed Gull
    9. Wood Pigeon
    10. Raven
    11. Blue Tit
    12. Mistle Thrush (H)
    13. Stock Dove
    14. House Sparrow
    15. Goldfinch
    16. Wren
    17. Common Gull
    18. Chaffinch
    19. Redwing (several in trees & flying)
    20. Fieldfare (1 in treetop)
    21. Kestrel
    22. Great Tit
    23. Dunnock (H)
    24. Green Woodpecker (H)
    25. Rook
    26. Cormorant (1 flew past)
    27. Pheasant (H)
    Also a flock of 6 distant unidentified geese, and a Roe deer browsing in our neighbours field. Highlight of the morning though was undoubtedly the Raven that flew over cronking, then returned to a fencepost up the hill where it treated us to it’s repertoire of atmospheric and inventive calls for much of the watch.
    Thank you so much Michael for all your efforts organising this during 2020, we’ve looked forward to each of these regular bird counts throughout the year.
    With very best wishes to all for a healthy and more “normal” 2021.

    27 Dec 2020 11:47:00

  • Nigel Kemp:

    Thanks Michael for organising these bird watches through the year; a pleasant distraction from the doom & gloom.
    15 species at Heathfield.
    Wood Pigeon, Jackdaw, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Wren, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Herring Gull, Magpie, Collared Dove, Starling, Carrion Crow, Robin.

    27 Dec 2020 11:49:00

  • Evelyn:

    Empty skies, but 12 seen or heard around garden
    Wood Pigeon
    Blue Tit
    Great Tit
    Song Thrush
    Carrion Crow
    Green Woodpecker
    Bullfinch ?

    27 Dec 2020 11:53:00

  • Sally Watson:

    Unsurprisingly quiet with overnight winds to 45 mph and 1 inch rain in Hellingly
    Robin, Carrion crow, Pheasant, Great tit, Nuthatch, Magpie, Blackbird, Wood pigeon, Wren, Jay, Jackdaw, Blue tit

    27 Dec 2020 11:54:00

  • Romney Marsh looking extremely wet. Surprising lack of BOPs, though a Kestrel appeared five minutes too late.
    Blackbird, House Sparrow, Robin, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Green Woodpecker, Robin, Woodpigeon, Great Tit, Starling, Lapwing, Pheasant, Song Thrush, Blu Tit, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Mistle Thrush, Heron, Magpie, Pied Wagtail, Cormorant, Redshank, Common Gull, Goldfinch, Redwing, Teal, Great Black-backed Gull, Shelduck, Fieldfare, Mute Swan, Coal Tit, Little Egret 35 Many thanks for organising this Michael, it has been great fun

    27 Dec 2020 12:05:00

  • Simon Linington:

    Well, it didn’t help that due to the fog of Christmas celebrations and the noise overnight of the howling gale, I only remembered about this at 10:15. I managed 21 species (two of which were only heard) in the 45 minutes here in Barcombe starting with a ‘rolling’ Raven (as opposed to a Rocky Robin):

    Robin (heard in song only)
    Blue Tit
    Collared Dove
    Great Tit
    House Sparrow (heard)
    Dunnock (including in song)
    Black-headed Gull
    Greenfinch (3)
    Herring Gull
    Great Spotted Woodpecker

    Had I been able to make up the hour by continuing to 11:15, I’d have added a splendid male Bullfinch (which has to be in my top five for UK birds). And now for a few boring statistics. During all 18 bird-watches that I’ve taken part in during the year, I’ve recorded 52 bird species at an average of 23.6 species per event with seven species recorded on all occasions and 10 recorded on just one date.

    Thanks, Michael for all you’ve done during this difficult year both through these events and elsewhere online for SWT to lift spirits and raise awareness of the wildlife to be seen in gardens around the county. Happy New Year to you, Clare and all of the participants in these garden bird-watches. Regards, Simon

    27 Dec 2020 12:16:00

  • Les:

    Magpie, Jackdaw, Herring Gull, Black Headed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Feral Pigeon, Starling and Dunnock.

    27 Dec 2020 12:28:00

  • Bridget:

    1 x male blackbird
    1 x female blackbird
    1 x magpie
    3 x wood pigeons

    31 Dec 2020 13:18:00