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30th January 2021 – RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

Over the weekend 0f 29th-31st January the RSPB is asking people in the UK to spend an hour counting the birds in their garden or from their balcony. This is what we saw in our tiny urban garden on Saturday 30th from 9:15 to 10:15 am.

8 goldfinch
2 blue tits
1 house sparrow
1 coal tit
1 dunnock
2 blackbirds
2 magpies
2 jackdaws
1 starling
2 wood pigeons
2 collared doves
1 robin

I managed to photograph some of these birds from my bathroom window or by standing in the garden.

Jackdaw
Goldfinch
Woodpigeon
Coal tit
Blackbird

Blue tit
Starling
Collared dove
Robin
7 goldfinch, 1 house sparrow and a blue tit

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24th January 2021 – Stapleton, Bristol

We have had our first snow of the winter and I’m very frustrated at home self-isolating; oh to be able get out and take some shots of snowy scenes! But as the French say “faute de grives on mange des merles” (“for lack of thrushes we eat blackbirds”, in other words “beggers can’t be choosers” or “half a loaf is better than no bread”) and I’ve taken a few shots from my garden.

Female blackbird in my garden
A charm of goldfinches in my neighbour’s garden – she obviously supplies better bird food.
A very blurry heavily-cropped photo of a goldfinch
A distant starling
Spring around the corner?
Spring? Perhaps not yet.
A semblance of colour
My attempt at a bug hotel
Blackbirds I suspect – where are the robins when you need them?
Thank goodness for the cricket from Sri Lanka on the television

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22nd January 2021 – Begbrook Park, Bristol

We have found a local walk from home where we can avoid the large crowds of the local parks and more or less stick to green areas.

This morning we saw a few garden birds (blue tits, great tits, gold finches, dunnock and blackbirds) and heard lots of robins. I read recently that wrens are the most common birds in the UK; I must say that I find that surprising from the number of robins we see and hear on our local walks.

Robin
Robin

The robins are making lots of noise at the moment establishing their territories. But the noisiest and the cheeriest of all the birds we saw this morning was a song thrush. It may have been very easy to hear, and from quite some distance, but it was very difficult to get a decent view of it.

Song thrush
Song thrush
Song thrush
Dunnock

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18th January 2021 – Eastville Park, Bristol

The sun only seems to shine at the weekends but I can’t cope with the huge number of people taking their daily lockdown exercise in our local park at that time; and so I have to content myself with seeing the world in black and white on a dull day.

A pied wagtail had no other colours to show anyway. However, the kingfisher did provide enough colour to make an impression on my camera sensor and put a smile on the face of the visitors to the park who are now getting used to spotting it on the aptly named island in the middle of the lake.

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9th January 2021 – Eastville Park, Bristol

I felt like ranting and raving about the injustice of two girls being fined £200 for driving 5 miles to go for a socially distanced walk around a beauty spot in Derbyshire. I was even more furious this morning when I found that it was impossible to socially distance when walking around my local park due to the lack of consideration of other walkers and especially runners who make little or no effort to give you a wide birth as you pass. Both young and old looked at us as if we were bonkers as we continuously stepped off the path or stopped to allow others to pass. I bet there are a fair number of those who made no effort at all who are quick to blame politicians for whatever measures they take to stop the pandemic.

However, I then saw a kingfisher and I calmed down.

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6th January 2021 – Clifton Down, Bristol

Reports of a pair of firecrests on The Downs in Bristol enticed us out on a gloomy cold day. We didn’t see them but we did enjoy our lockdown ration of one daily exercise.

The best of the birds we saw were a pair of redwing and a jay. It needed fairly bright birds to get any sort of photograph in the very poor light.

Redwing
Jay

As we returned to our car there was a very surreal moment when we heard the very loud roar of a lion. With lockdown (and the lack of cars) we had forgotten that we had parked right next to Bristol Zoo.