Saturday, 16 January 2016

Hilly Fields Big Birdwatch 2016 and Updated Bird List

This years Hilly Fields Big Birdwatch event will be held on Sunday 31 January from 10.30 to 12.30. This is also the weekend of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch and there is no reason why you can't participate in both! But do come along to our event if you can. It's organised by the Friends of Hilly Fields with Glendale and you'll find our stall by the cafe. You can either go round the park by yourselves in which case we can give you bird information sheets on which to tick the birds you see. Or you can come round on one of the guided walks with our experienced bird champions. We will have activities for children at our stall such as making fat balls and bird feeders, but of course they are welcome to go bird surveying with parents as well. Please bring binoculars if you can and a pen or pencil (we are non-digital).

If you do the survey by yourselves, there are two basic rules set by the RSPB which must be followed. 1. Only count the maximum number of each species that you see at any one time (to avoid duplication); 2. Don't count birds that fly overhead without stopping - only birds within the park. If in any doubt about the rules, ask at our stall. The RSPB are planning to have a stall at the event as well and if you've thought about becoming a member but never quite got round to it, this is your chance.

'We''ll be there - come and find us' - Starlings

'We may be there - come and look for us' - Pied Wagtails on the bowling green

This will be our 8th Big Garden Birdwatch and last year we broke all records with a total of 26 species seen or heard. Can we beat that this year? Or equal it? Or even get close to it? Much will depend on the weather, of course, but the birds have been getting more and more active despite the confusing signals that nature has been sending. If you want to know what birds you're likely to see, have a look at last year's blackboard record below. And yes - it only has 25 species, but we saw a late Song Thrush after the photo was taken.

So there we are. It's all happening on Hilly Fields on Sunday 31 January 10.30-12.30 and we hope to see as many people there as possible. In the meantime, here's our updated list of birds seen on Hilly Fields since the Bird Champion recording scheme began in 2007.


Everyday sightings
1. Blackbird
2.   Black-headed Gull (winter)
3.   Blue Tit
4.   Carrion Crow
5.   Common Gull (winter)
6.   Goldfinch
7.   Great Tit
8.   House Sparrow
9.   Magpie
10. Ring-necked Parakeet
11. Robin
12. Wood Pigeon
13. Wren
Regular sightings
14. Blackcap (summer)
15. Chaffinch
16. Chiffchaff (summer)
17. Common Swift (summer)
18. Dunnock
19. Feral Pigeon
20. Great Spotted Woodpecker
21. Greenfinch
22. Jay
23. Long-tailed Tit
24. Mistle Thrush
25. Pied Wagtail
26. Starling
Occasional sightings
27. Coal Tit
28. Collared Dove
29. Fieldfare
30. Goldcrest
31. Green Woodpecker
32. House Martin
33. Kestrel
34. Lesser Black-backed Gull
35. Nuthatch
36. Redwing
37. Song Thrush
38. Sparrowhawk
39. Stock Dove
40. Tawny Owl (heard, not seen)
41. Willow War sightingsbler
Rare sightings
42. Bullfinch
43. Cuckoo (heard not seen)
44. Little Owl
45. Mallard
46. Short-eared Owl
47. Spotted Flycatcher