A recent WordPress prompt was –
‘Go to the nearest window. Look out for a full minute. Write about what you saw.’
I thought I could do one better than that, and on Sunday afternoon I decided to make my contribution to the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch. The survey’s been happening for several years now, to see what can be done to halt the decline in numbers of certain garden bird species. The rules are that you look out onto your garden for one complete hour, at any time of the day, over the weekend.
I settled myself by the dining room window, overlooking the back garden. I had a cup of coffee, binoculars, a sharp pencil and my checklist of common garden birds. I knew that the bird feeders and water dishes were full and I was ready to go… The sun was shining, a breeze was blowing and I hoped that I would see more than last year, which was a pretty pathetic count of about 15 birds in total. I’ve seen quite a range of birds in my garden – woodpeckers, goldfinches, blue tits, greenfinches, blackbirds, magpies, jays, thrushes, robins, wrens. Which one was going to be the winner in numbers?
I was sadly disappointed. Not a single bird landed in the garden during that hour. Zilch. Zero. Nil. I don’t think one even flew into my air space. I could see quite a few flying in and out of my neighbour’s garden, where there is a huge feeding station, but nothing for me. Last year’s count of 15 seems magnificent now!
I entered my results on the RSPB website with a bit of a sense of failure. Better luck next year I hope.