Thursday, March 31, 2011

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2011 - Results Are In

Just two months ago over 600,000 people took part in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch and now the results are in.

Perhaps due to the cold weather more small birds were spotted in our gardens with more goldcrests and treecreepers making an appearance.  Unfortunately neither of those made it on to my list and I can't say I've ever seen a treecreeper in my garden.

House sparrow, starling and blackbird were the top three species counted - I managed two of the three within the hour.  Starlings certainly aren't a daily visitor but do turn up pretty regularly and of course turned up later in the day.  Both the house sparrow and starling are still in decline - although most people probably think they're 'common' birds.

In East and West Sussex the Top 10 were blue tit, house sparrow, starling, blackbird, woodpigeon, chaffinch, great tit, robin and collared dove with magpie and goldfinch switching for the 10th place in East and West Sussex respectively.  This is fairly consistent across the counties although long-tailed tit makes it onto the Top 10 in many other counties and there's a great variety in the bottom 10 with rarer garden visitors including - brambling, grey heron, sparrowhawk and even red kite.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Two For One

Two tasks for the price of one this weekend.

Two people went off for a litter pick up on the main Tye.  There wasn't enough to justify a full task as we'd cleared much of it on previous litter picks.  The rest of us (all three) went up to the e-piece for a bit more scrub clearance.

Finishing off the area we started last month, which consisted mainly of bramble, a few sprouting elder, ash stumps and hawthorn seedlings.  Sadly Tor grass is taking hold in many of the cleared areas and this can be clearly seen over on the middle 'prong' in the cleared patches.

Also plenty of dead rose-bay willow herb, which has totally taken over one half of the slope and the dead stalks certainly help get the bonfire going.  Most of the cleared slope is covered in moss and riddled with rabbit holes but could be a good slope for butterflies and wild flowers given a few years and some good, controlled grazing.

There were more walkers out today - probably due to the warmer weather and sunshine.  Plenty of woodland birds singing in the trees but no sign of the buzzards this time.

If you'd like to join us - you'll find details on the www.friendsoftelscombetye.co.uk

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