clocked up a respectable tally of 21 species as indicated below. Particularly good views were had of the Great Spotted Woodpeckers and the Long-tailed Tits in the garden next to the Bothy, while the Common and Black-headed Gulls provided the highest numbers.
Meanwhile, back at the cafe, the Friends of Hilly Fields set up stall and provided activities for the little ones including the making of many suet balls and popcorn strings. If they eat everything that was hung from nearby trees, the birds will be too fat to fly for the next few days. Jason from Tlon Books came along too and sold copies of the appropriately themed children's book Brenda's Bottom and Her Birds by local author Clare Stanhope.
Thanks to Terry for helping to lead the guided walk, to Rachel and Andrew from the Friends and Judith from Glendale for running the stall and the childrens activities, to Phil for the work of art that was the blackboard (until we spotted more birds than he had room for), to Lee - the ever-helpful parkie from Glendale - and to Fred for letting us take over half the cafe terrace. Next event: the legendary Dawn Chorus Walk sometime this spring!
Incidentally, if you did the Birdwatch with young children this weekend, whether at Hilly Fields or at home, you can download a certificate for them from the RSPB website: http://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/certificate_tcm9-335163.pdf It opens in Adobe Reader which allows you to insert a name and make it look more official. You should also be able to get your printer (look under Properties) to add a touch of colour.
Finally, Colm dropped by to report that he'd seen 14 Fieldfares in the West Field the previous day - a day too early for our Birdwatch but we will add the sighting to Birdtrack, the national recording scheme that we use regularly. Fieldfares are thrushes and winter visitors from Scandinavia, usually found in flocks. They stand erect, grey heads, yellow bills, speckled breasts with a yellow-orange tint and brown backs and wings. Fieldfares are often seen at SE London locations including Ladywell Fields, but this is a first for us since we've been recording. They are a nomadic species flying to wherever they can find food, so now that they've found Hilly Fields, let's hope they return in future!
|Fieldfare [photo John Richardson, Old Man of Minsmere blog]|