After the high winds and disrupted our Big Garden Birdwatch at Jodrell Bank last year we were all delighted that we had perfect conditions for this year’s event. Mild and sunny weather meant that birds were out in force looking for food, making our task of counting and recording the species we spotted that little bit easier.
David Tolliday gave an introductory talk on how to identify some of the top birds from the Birdwatch results last year – beautifully illustrated with his photographs of wild birds and sound clips of calls.
With over 50 people taking part we split into two different groups for our walk. Visitors used binoculars and telescopes – some even managed to get photographs of our best spots.
There were lots of small birds visiting the feeders around the Arboretum and we got excellent close views of coal tits, blue tits, great tits and nuthatch.
As well as jackdaws and magpies on the Lovell Telescope itself, surrounding fields had crows and rooks in large numbers. One group were amused to watch a male pheasant running along the ground, the whole length of one hedgerow.
With our final results collated we had a list including Raven – one of the iconic species associated with the site that we had really hoped to spot. The results will contribute to the biggest wildlife survey in the world – The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch – and will help build up a snapshot of the health of our nation’s wild bird populations. This information will be used to identify those species in most needs of conservation help.
We had a fabulous morning at a wonderful location. Thanks to Jodrell Bank Head Gardener Becky Burns who helped organise a fantastic morning’s birdwatching.