Jan 282012

What's that robin doing on my head?

On Saturday members of the group gathered at Millbrook Garden Centre outside Gravesend to help run a Big Garden Birdwatch event. We had great views of birds on the feeders in the Wildlife Garden and we were kept busy with a constant stream of Millbrook customers that wanted to see the birds.
We were fortunate to be visited by a family of keen photographers and therefore we can show you some of the birds that we were able to see. I counted at least five robins around the site – all singing – but this one seems to be a bit confused!

Taking turns

Great tit, blue tit, greenfinch, chaffinch and house sparrow were the commonest bird visitors and and we have some great photographs of them. A great spotted woodpecker was seen by some and a sparrowhawk made a flying visit. Probably the most unusual bird to visit the wildlife area was a chiffchaff – one of the very few to overwinter in this country – most deciding to fly south to keep warm in Africa.

Several people had already carried out their own RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. Two people, both from the Gravesend area, told me that they had seen redpolls in their gardens. They are often attracted to silver birch trees where (I think) they feed on the birch seeds. They are often seen with other small birds and it seems to me they like being with goldfinches. So keep an eye open for redpolls in your garden.

Male greenfinch

My thanks to Graham for making this event possible. Thanks to Sue, Sally, Irene and Roger for making it happen. Special thanks to the Sampson family for their enthusiastic support and the photographs. More photographs can be seen in the Gallery.
Day 2 on Sunday.

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