Look out and look up in unison

The back garden pond here in Banstead - best bird to visit it? Grey Wagtail.
We have, so far, 16 participants in our laid-back self-isolation back garden challenge. The rules are simple - as from March 20th (or later if you subsequently join in), all competitors will keep a list of the species observed from their garden/window. When the government announce a lessening of the 'state of emergency' I will calculate what percentage of their historical garden lists each birder has recorded. Updates will be posted on this blog, with hopefully a few details from each garden such as movements, counts and highlights. It shouldn't really be seen as a fierce competition, more a celebration of what birdlife we can see from our humble homes. Regular observation from any location will provide surprises and useful data, so garden confinement shouldn’t be seen as a hardship, more like an opportunity. Good luck and, above all, enjoy!

Steve G (Banstead, Surrey)
Garden list of 92 species
Spoonbill, Honey Buzzard, Short-eared Owl, Woodlark, Black Redstart some of the highlights

Ian S (Sidcup, Greater London)
Garden list of 113 species
Two separate migratory calling Quail are stand-out records.

Dylan W (Thanet, Kent)
Garden list of 111 species.
Fulmar, Purple Heron, Montagu’s Harrier, Red-footed Falcon and Ortolan Bunting among his notable sightings.

Isaiah R (New Malden, Greater London)
Garden list of 76 species
One of those is a Gannet, photographed for posterity.

Gavin H (Bridport, Dorset)
No list, but a passive participant who will pass on his findings.

John P (Banstead, Surrey)
Details to come.

Geoff B (Chessington, Surrey)
Garden list of 69 species
Three Honey Buzzards, Mediterranean Gull and Crossbill are noteworthy.

Mathew B (Wrotham, Kent)
Garden list of 33 species
A birder who is just starting to give his garden some concentrated attention. What will he discover?

Sean M (Pinner, Greater London)
Garden list of 50 species
Another birder who is giving his garden its first concentrated bout of birding.

Tony B (Woodford Green, Greater London)
Garden list of 69 species
Black Redstart is the headliner - so far...

Steve C (Guildford, Surrey)
Garden list of 66 species
A Wheatear on the lawn, Firecrest and Curlew are the stand-outs.

Callum M (Hemel Hempstead, Herts)
Garden list of 64 species

Stephen R (Harrogate, Yorks)
Garden list of 66 species
Whooper Swan, Curlew and Cuckoo are his best sightings.

Stewart S (Howick, Northumberland)
Garden list of 113 species
How many people can boast of Rosefinch, Barred Warblers and Yellow-browed Warblers in their garden? He suggests that Spring is usually poor though.

Mike R (Battle, East Sussex)
Garden list of 97 species
Wryneck, Stone Curlew and Serin are indicators of how unpredictable our gardens can be...

If you want to join in, it isn't too late - after all, we may be at this for months to come...



Steve Chastell said…
I'll give it a go Steve, though I dont actually have a garden list at the moment, working on it...
Steve Gale said…
Excellent. Are you in Guildford Steve?
Steve Chastell said…
Yes indeed. I make my list 66, highlights being Wheatear (actually on my small suburban lawn), 2 x Firecrest & flyovers Curlew, Crossbill, Hobby
Stephen Root said…
Hi Steve, Count me in as well - someone from "up north" ought to be taking part! I'm based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire garden list of 66 species. Best birds probably whooper swan, curlew and cuckoo (pretty uncommon in the district). And I get red kites, lots of them - highest count from the garden at any one time 15.
Stewart said…
I'm In!
Stewart S, Howick, Northumberland.
Stewart said…
Oops I forgot to add... My garden list over 11 years is 130. This makes it sound a lot better than it is with the close proximity to the east coast pulling in some good birds but not very often! Rosefinch, 3x Barred Warblers, annual Yellow brow, several Quail heard, Pied Fly, Gropper, Bonxie, Arctic Skua, Arctic Tern, Kittiwake, Green Sand, breeding Tree Spugs etc.

But spring is pretty crap so dont expect much!
Steve Gale said…
Stephen, Stewart - you’re in. Welcome!
Mike Russell said…
Hi Steve
Love to join in, thanks for organising!
I'm from Battle in East Sussex. My garden list is 97 (tantalising!), highlights include Serin, Stone Curlew, Wryneck and quite a bit of other stuff I'll probably never see again!
Cheers & thanks again.
Mike R
Steve Gale said…
Thanks Mike and welcome to our gathering.
Unknown said…
Hi Steve,
If it not to late count me in, my garden is in Shoreham By Sea, total list 55 species. Standout species for me are Woodcock and Brent Geese. Cheers Dave Phillips
Steve Gale said…
All done Dave, enjoy!
Debra Saunders said…
The Sea Mist garden on Portland 155 species, so far we have recorded 33
Unknown said…
Hello Steve, please count me in. West Raynham, Norfolk. #BWKM0 total here since 2017 is 87 species. Since 24 March I am on 44. Best being shoveler, teal, shelduck and oystercatcher. Nothing out of the ordinary for the locality yet. Cheers, David

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