Sunday, 19 January 2014

Hilly Fields Big Birdwatch 2014! With Updated Bird List 2007-13

This is your final reminder. The Friends of Hilly Fields Big Birdwatch takes place next Sunday 26 January between 11.00-14.00 on - wait for it - Hilly Fields. This is the weekend of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch and we will submit the final results to the RSPB's national survey. Is Hilly Fields a big garden? Well at forty acres, it's big even if you have your own garden. And the RSPB says we can do it in parks (the big birdwatch, that is), so there.

Big Birdwatch 2013
What do you have to do? Well, turning up would be good. With binoculars would be even better but not essential. Our rendezvous desk (or gazebo depending on the weather) will be by the cafe. Take one of our bird id/count sheets and either: (i) go round by yourselves or (ii) go round on one of our guided walks. Remember the RSPB rules: (i) only count the maximum number of each species that you see at any one time (to avoid duplication); (ii) don't count birds that fly over without stopping - only birds within the park. If in any doubt about the rules, ask at the desk.

Big Birdwatch 2012

Children are welcome and and could try their skill at making bird feeders to hang from the trees. Adults can try the Bird Champion Quiz - ten moderately fiendish questions which are more about references to birds in folklore and popular culture than boring ornithological stuff. And of course, the cafe will be open to nourish your bodies and brains.

Jay on Hilly Fields
As regular readers of this blog will know, we do a bird count every month at Hilly Fields. The annual Big Birdwatch also acts as our monthly count for January, so you are helping us to monitor bird life and the health of the park as a habitat. For the last three years, we've counted 21 different species each time. Can we beat that this year? Come along and help on Sunday 26 January between 11.00-14.00.

Blackbird in Hilly Fields wood
That was your final reminder. Don't say you haven't been reminded. See you on Sunday!

Postscript: Here is an updated list of all birds seen or heard in the park since 2007 when the Bird Champion scheme began:

Hilly Fields Bird List: 2007-2013


1. Blackbird  (resident)                

2.    Black-headed Gull  (resident - winter months)
3.    Blue Tit  (resident)
4.    Carrion Crow  (numbers vary but thought to be 4 residents)
5.    Common Gull  (resident - winter months)
6.    Goldfinch  (daily visitors in a flock of up to 20 birds on occasion)
7.    Great Tit (resident)
8.    House Sparrow  (resident)
9.    Magpie (numbers vary but thought to be 2/3 residents)
10.  Ring-necked Parakeet  (daily visitors in small numbers) 
11.  Robin (resident)
12. Wood Pigeon  (resident)
13. Wren  (resident)


14. Blackcap  (summer and winter migrants)

15. Chaffinch  (probably resident)
16. Common Swift  (seen overhead in summer months
17. Dunnock  (probably resident
18. Feral Pigeon (small no, easily outnumbered by wood pigeons)
19. Great Spotted Woodpecker  (resident pair)
20. Greenfinch  (probably resident)
21. Jay  (regular pair - possibly resident)
22. Long-tailed Tit  (unsure whether residents)
23. Mistle Thrush  (regular pair - probably residents)
24. Pied Wagtail  (seen on bowling green and on stone pathways)
25. Starling  (as many as 80 seen in winter months; disappear during summer months)


26. Chiffchaff  (heard since 2011 at spring and autumn migration times only)

27. Coal Tit (very occasional)
28. Collared Dove  (very occasional)
29. Fieldfare  (occasional in winter
30. Goldcrest  (possibly visitors from nearby Brockley/Ladywell cemeteries)
31. Green Woodpecker  (also possibly visitors from above)
32. House Martin  (not recorded since 2008)
33. Kestrel  (very occasional)
34. Lesser Black-backed Gull (very occasional)
35. Nuthatch  (very occasional)
36. Redwing   (seen more in winter/early spring 2013
37. Sparrowhawk  (possibly the birds that are known to have bred in Brockley Cemetery)
38. Stock Dove  (very occasional)
39. Tawny Owl  (heard by Cliffview Road residents in  autumn/winter 2012/13, not seen)
40. Willow Warbler. Seen and heard for the first time September 2013


41. Bullfinch (male, seen by Peter on 19/12/10 on SE edge of the park)

42. Cuckoo  (heard once in May 2011)
43. Mallard  (two seen by Rachel 10/3/08 approx 7am 'waddling up the park end of Eastern Rd')
44. Short-eared Owl  (seen overhead 13/10/12 being mobbed by crows. Probably same bird recorded over London Wetland Centre earlier that day

Updated Jan 2014

1 comment:

  1. Other positive reasons to join in, taken from the RSPB's website..
    "Over the last decade, a large amount of research has been carried out into the diverse benefits for children of contact with nature and outdoor experiences. These benefits include positive impacts on education, physical health emotional wellbeing and personal and social skills".

    Bird watching in the park...ticks all the boxes.