I know it’s what you have been waiting for and I apologise for any lack of sleep you have experienced in anticipation of this moment.
But there’s no need to wait any longer now. Look forward to a perfect night’s sleep tonight.
For here are the results of the Nutsford House RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2023.
But don’t scroll down quite yet because, for those who are unfamiliar, firstly, here are the rules and conditions of this nationwide project.
This annual piece of citizen science gives the RSPB a snapshot of how UK garden birds are faring. We are encouraged to sit for an hour and record all the species that we see in our garden in that hour. It is the highest total of a particular species that you see at any one moment which counts. So, if, after fifteen minutes, you see four blue tits and then twenty minutes later you see seven blue tits, your final number of blue tits is seven, not eleven. They might be the same blue tits, of course.
The Big Garden Birdwatch is something I do every year but a new location, especially one as amazing as Nutsford House, has meant increased anticipation levels ahead of the 2023 version.
A stroke of luck also meant that my parents happened to be visiting last weekend and my dad is a far more experienced and knowledgeable birder than I, so I can guarantee the validity of the results as well. He’s not quite an independent arbiter, but close enough. He also has an incredible pair of binoculars!
Our Sunday lunch, then, was an hour long event with four pairs of eyes firmly focused on the garden and the feeders, rather than the sandwiches and the salad.
You want to know the results, I know, but I’ll keep you in suspense for a moment longer because, as well as the usual birds, we actually saw two new species during that hour. “New”, though, is probably the wrong word. You’ll remember that my dad was present and he spotted two birds that we had not identified before. It is highly likely that these birds have always been visiting the feeders - it’s just we thought they were probably sparrows!
But now we know exactly what a dunnock and a reed bunting look like. And we’ll keep our eyes peeled for more sightings of them.
Luckily, there was only one of each of these species. The tits, however, were more challenging to count. They come in flocks, some on the feeders, some on the ground, some sitting on the lamp post. And they’re not still for very long.
But, nevertheless, we are confident of our results.
Were there any surprises, you ask? Not really. We see starlings in the sky at the end of each day, but never at any other time. And there are magpies around, but they tend to stick to the woods. Otherwise, the birds we normally see did turn up for their big moment.
So, enough faffing! Here we go.
At this point, if you want to imagine the Top 40 countdown music from your era of Top of the Pops, go ahead, because, in reverse order, here are the species that we saw in the Nutsford House RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch hour - whilst eating our sandwiches.
8th= 1 Great Tit, 1 Robin, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Coal Tit, 1 Dunnock. 1 House Sparrow and 1 Reed Bunting