The Back Garden Bird Race returns! Sunday 10-11

22 July 2020 | Posted in Michael Blencowe
The Back Garden Bird Race returns! Sunday 10-11

Welcome back Bird Racers! 


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. 

When we ran our final weekly Bird Race on 21 June (read about it here) some people became a bit emotional - so I promised that it wasn't over and that we'll be back Bird Racing in July.

Catherine Emmitt

(Photo: Catherine Emmitt)

So, we'll be running the monthly Bird Race again this Sunday (26 July) - 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)


Comments

  • Ginny-Vic:

    22 Jul 2020 19:15:00

    SO happy 😃 this is back! Even though the same few birds rock up every week I have missed this and all the jokes. After all it’s nice to have bird friends when you haven’t been able to see your human friends. I’ve ordered some nibbles snack dishes from the vine shop specially. Hopefully they’ll be here in time! Can’t wait to wear my t-shirt again! Hoooooooooooray!

  • Elaine Charlson:

    23 Jul 2020 20:15:00

    Such a pity I’ll have to miss it, but will be doing bat box checks on Sunday, the first we’ve been able to do this year. Hope to join back in with next month’s bird race!

  • Owen Hydes:

    26 Jul 2020 10:09:34

    Great to be back from a sunny garden in Mannings Heath. Wasn’t expecting a lot of sightings as there hasn’t been much activity in the garden recently. Managed to get 14 species well below my best as follows: blackbird, great tit, robin, blue tit, marsh tit, wood pigeon, magpie, dunnock, nuthatch, carrion crow, red kite, greenfinch, chaffinch and buzzard. Thanks for organising the race again.

  • Margaret from Wales:

    26 Jul 2020 10:13:13

    16 today – The normal crowd of chaffinches were having a lie-in but the blackcap is now a regular in our fruit cage – which we have to leave open all the time for.
    Blackbird
    Blackcap
    Buzzard
    Crow
    Goldfinch
    Magpie
    Nuthatch
    Robin
    Siskin
    Sparrow
    Bluetit
    Great tit
    Coal tit
    Woodpigeon
    Wren
    Raven

  • Bridget Caldwell:

    26 Jul 2020 10:15:38

    Wildlife seen:
    House sparrows
    Tree sparrows
    Wood pigeon
    Collared dove
    Grey squirrel

  • Liz C:

    26 Jul 2020 10:17:47

    I have missed this so much, thanks Michael for carrying on a monthly “race”. 17 today, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Magpie, Nuthatch, Red Kite, Robin, Starling, Woodpigeon.

  • Nigel Kemp:

    26 Jul 2020 10:20:30

    15 species at Heathfield. Having seen swifts well into double figures earlier in the week, they have now vanished and just one was seen, high up and heading south.
    House Sparrow, Blackbird, Wood Pigeon, Blue Tit, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Starling, Carrion Crow, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Robin, Swift, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Collared Dove.

  • c hydes:

    26 Jul 2020 10:23:58

    Walberton. It’s lovely to be back bird racing! 16 species which is lower than my best (23) . The most noticeable absence was my fruit thief aka Mrs Blackbird! It was a wonderful day for swifts here today as they were ever present over the village and in good numbers. Cast list in order of appearance
    carrion crow
    house sparrow
    greenfinch
    wood pigeon
    herring gull
    collared dove
    goldfinch
    pied wagtail
    magpie
    rook
    swift
    wren (heard)
    BH gull
    swallow
    buzzard
    robin

  • Bob Eade:

    26 Jul 2020 10:27:50

    A pretty poor effort from Seaford with many regulars deciding to naff off for the day.

    Only 13 species with even the Starlings not showing. Probably still not happy as their nesting holes in the house opposite having been covered over meaning they can no longer use these 2 holes!!
    Herring Gull
    Jackdaw
    Carrion Crow,
    Wood Pigeon
    Magpie
    Sparrowhawk
    House Sparrow
    Great Tit
    Blue Tit
    Collared Dove
    Goldfinch
    Feral Pigeon
    Swift.

  • Colin & Janet Holter:

    26 Jul 2020 10:31:24

    Morning Michael, hope you are well, good to be back “Back garden bird racing” again!
    From our rather breezy Steyning garden this morning:
    1. Blue Tit
    2. Jackdaw
    3. Herring Gull
    4. Wood Pigeon
    5. Black-headed Gull
    6. Goldfinch
    7. Carrion Crow
    8. Swift
    9. House Sparrow
    10. Blackbird
    11. Starling
    12. Magpie
    13. Stock Dove
    14. Buzzard
    15. House Martin
    16. Great Tit
    17. Swallow
    18. Robin
    19. Collared Dove
    20. Greenfinch
    21.Green Woodpecker (heard).
    Predictably much quieter now with very little song at the end of July.
    Male Blackbird gathering food presumably for a 2nd brood somewhere nearby.
    Nice to see a passing party of c.8 House Martins overhead, and around half a dozen Swallows low over adjacent fields, a few Swifts still lingering too, zooming about high up on the blustery wind.

  • Simon Linington:

    26 Jul 2020 10:32:05

    Hi Michael, A bit slow going today as expected for late July. A total of 18 species noted, 3 of which were heard only:

    Jackdaw
    Buzzard (at least 2)
    Wren (heard only but calling throughout the hour)
    Collared Dove
    Blue Tit
    Blackcap (at least one – attracted in by blackberries and Himalayan Honeysuckle berries)
    Swift (at least 10)
    House Martin
    Herring Gull
    House Sparrow (heard only)
    Goldfinch
    Great Tit
    Greenfinch
    Starling (flock of 7)
    Kestrel
    Lesser Black-backed Gull
    Green Woodpecker (heard only)
    Robin (juvenile)

    Also a lot of Gatekeeper butterflies.

    A monthly garden bird-watch is a good idea as it encourages you to check out what is or isn’t around the garden. All the best, Simon

  • Colin & Janet Holter:

    26 Jul 2020 10:32:21

    Morning Michael, hope you are well, good to be back “Back garden bird racing” again!
    From our rather breezy Steyning garden this morning:
    1. Blue Tit
    2. Jackdaw
    3. Herring Gull
    4. Wood Pigeon
    5. Black-headed Gull
    6. Goldfinch
    7. Carrion Crow
    8. Swift
    9. House Sparrow
    10. Blackbird
    11. Starling
    12. Magpie
    13. Stock Dove
    14. Buzzard
    15. House Martin
    16. Great Tit
    17. Swallow
    18. Robin
    19. Collared Dove
    20. Greenfinch
    21.Green Woodpecker (heard).
    Predictably much quieter now with very little song at the end of July.
    Male Blackbird gathering food presumably for a 2nd brood somewhere nearby.
    Nice to see a passing party of c.8 House Martins overhead, and around half a dozen Swallows low over adjacent fields, a few Swifts still lingering too, zooming about high up on the blustery wind.

  • Penny & Tom:

    26 Jul 2020 10:33:59

    Ha, so thebirds must have known! Hardly anything around, fully expected our count to include woodpeckers, nuthatches, jays, buzzards….. but no! Here’s what we glimpsed betwen 10 & 11 this morning…

    Wood pigeons
    House Martins
    Wren
    Long tailed tits
    Great tit
    Blue tit
    Black bird
    Crow
    Magpie
    Jackdaw

    Had fun though!

  • Ralph Gilbert:

    26 Jul 2020 10:43:08

    Woodmancote. Sunday. 26 th July

    Blackbird
    Crow
    Jackdaw
    Swallow
    Pied Wagtail
    Moorhen
    Blue Tit
    Goldfinch
    Mallard
    Wood Pigeon
    Green Woodpecker
    Buzzard overhead

  • Alan, Lewes:

    26 Jul 2020 10:45:51

    An inauspicious start to the day – one of my bird feeders was lying on the ground – don’t know who the culprit was. Anyway, nothing daunted, I stepped out at 10 o’clock to the sound of……nothing at all. The jackdaws that spend most of the time making a lot of noise on our roof and the sparrows that chatter on the bush outside the kitchen window had all vanished. For 20 minutes, I thought the only wildlife I could report was one small white and one meadow brown butterfly. But things began to look up when a couple of buzzards swooped around overhead and I finally just managed to scrape into double figures. 10 species:
    Woodpigeon
    Herring Gull
    Jackdaw
    Buzzard
    Swift
    House Sparrow
    Blue Tit
    Great Tit
    Collared Dove
    Wren

  • Chris Brown:

    26 Jul 2020 10:48:46

    From my Brighton garden. 17 species today. No swifts :-(
    1. Goldfinch
    2. Great Tit
    3. Blue Tit
    4. Woodpigeon
    5. House Sparrow
    6. Herring Gull
    7. Collared Dove
    8. Feral Pigeon
    9. Wren
    10. Dunnock
    11. Blackbird
    12. Greenfinch
    13. Robin
    14. Magpie
    15. Carrion Crow
    16. Common Buzzard
    17. Coal Tit

  • 26 Jul 2020 11:05:42

    Only 23 today, most birds seem to have stopped singing. There are an awful lot of Woodpigeons around here!
    Chiffchaff, Woodpigeon, Goldfinch, Magpie, House Sparrow, Blackbird, Buzzard, Sand Martin, Rook, Carrion Crow, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Cormorant, Linnet, Swallow, Swift, Blue Tit, Green Woodpecker, Redshank, Stock Dove, Starling, Wren.

  • Robin Harris:

    26 Jul 2020 11:08:59

    A warm and mostly sunny morning at Mountfield (TQ743202) started so well! Bang on ten o’clock a Nuthatch arrived on my feeders. But after that…..I recorded only a further nine species – House Sparrow, Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Wood Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Herring Gull, Buzzard and Dunnock – making a total of 10 (cf 18 on 21st June). The most surprising absentees perhaps were Starling, Jackdaw, Collared Dove, Blackbird, Robin, Great Tit and Magpie. What will August bring?
    Thank you, Michael, for again organising this very entertaining event.

  • Patrick Bonham:

    26 Jul 2020 11:28:56

    Where have all the small birds gone since last time? Very quiet here in Rye except for the usual gulls and pigeons. My lowest score by far with just 11 species in the hour, but at least they included Cormorant, Kestrel and Goldfinch. No Blackbirds, Robins, Starlings … the list goes on. But, as they say in Norfolk, keep yew a-troshin’, bor!

  • clare:

    26 Jul 2020 12:19:00

    Brighton 9 today (regulars seem to be hiding) 2 young woodpigeons, h gulls, f pigeon, blackbird, blue tit, great tit, song thrush, gold finch,robin

  • Ralph Gilbert:

    28 Jul 2020 17:18:00

    Woodmancote. Sunday. 26 th July

    Blackbird
    Crow
    Jackdaw
    Swallow
    Pied Wagtail
    Moorhen
    Blue Tit
    Goldfinch
    Mallard
    Wood Pigeon
    Green Woodpecker
    Buzzard overhead

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