And now, the end is near...

#BWKM0 ND&B garden challenge
DAY 48

If you've made it this far into the challenge, then well done, 48 days is a big commitment. There is now just the one more day to go. So, give those optics one last clean, prepare yourself for one more birding session and let's see if you can add another species (or two) onto the 'lockdown list'. By 18.00hrs tomorrow evening it will all be over and we can then take a well deserved break.

These 48 days have been an eye-opener for me. I've discovered ornithological aspects of the garden that I was either unaware or at least had little understanding of. There are viewpoints from the house that give me sweeping views across the neighbourhood that are ideal for vis-mig - views that had not registered as such before. My Spring Chaffinch passage is more prolonged (and heavier) than I realised. Wildfowl obviously pass over my little bit of Surrey each night at the end of March and the beginning of April. Common Buzzards and Red Kites have kept on moving eastwards throughout the period, with 300-400 Common Buzzards and 75 Red Kites as bare minimum totals. If I had made an estimate prior to the off I would have cut them by two-thirds. Each and every one of us can look back on this exercise and pick out such highlights. There are many in our 'collective' that have fallen under the spell of 'noc-mig' recording, and as many others who just sat out in darkened gardens using just their ears. Both groups were amply rewarded.

Some of us were fortunate enough to be visited by genuine rarity. We all had moments of elation, either brought on by garden firsts or surprising observations. The first Swifts brought out a rash of joyous comments from participants, belying the fact that we were all destined to have them over the garden. The common is not always top-trumped by the rare.

Please try to get your observations in by 19.00hrs tomorrow and I will upload the final post of this challenge by 20.00hrs. 

Good luck!#


OUR COMBINED TOTAL (BRITISH ISLES GARDENS) IS 185 SPECIES   Still to be recorded are: Arctic Skua, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Kingfisher, Whinchat.

Our oversea's gardens (New Zealand and Albania) add an additional 26 SPECIES  

You can find the combined #BWKM0 list by clicking on the right-hand tab above.


Our 'garden collective' stands at 61


Garden firsts
Arjun D (Wallington, London) - Common Sandpiper

There have been 214 garden firsts across the competition.


Visual interlude - #27 The colour of nature
Diminutive Sheep's-sorrel, minute of flower but potent in mass. This rusting of the Dungeness shingle is caused by its mass flowering each April and May. On this particular evening a rainstorm inland threw an inky blue into the visual mix. Big skies, big colours.

How are we getting on?
Alphabetical order by first name. The first figure is the garden score as on March 20th. The second is since then (as up to date as I am aware).

Alastair F (West Mainland, Orkney) 100/66; Arjun D (Wallington, Surrey) 74/70; 
Benne A (Tirana, Albania) xx/40; Benno W (Goodnestone, Kent) xx/43; 
Bernard B (Ruckinge, Kent) 107/67; Bob S (Worcester Park, Surrey) 86/37; 
Callum M (Hemel Hempstead, Herts) 64/61; Cheech A (Langley Vale, Surrey) 31/39; 
Chris P (Claygate, Surrey) 43/42; Daniel W (NW London) xx/xx; 
Dave B (Chatham Islands, Pacific Ocean) 30/29; Dave P (Shoreham, West Sussex) 55/46; 
David S (West Raynham, Norfolk) 87/64; Debbie S (Portland, Dorset) 155/50; 
Dylan W (Thanet, Kent) 111/59; Ed S (Farncombe, Surrey) 79/83;  
Gavin H (Bridport, Dorset) xx/53;  Geoff B (Chessington, Surrey) 69/30; 
Gill H (Tenterden, Kent) 60/36; Gordon H (Redhill, Surrey) 80/46; 
Ian K (Leigh, Surrey) 62/42;  Ian S (Sidcup, Kent) 113/52; 
Ian W (Merton Park, London) 86/51; Isaiah R (New Malden, London) 76/59; 
John P (Banstead, Surrey) xx/xx; Jono L (Wanstead, London) 83/70; 
Josephine S (Leatherhead, Surrey) 40/44; Justin T (Charmouth, Dorset) 59/32; 
Mark D (Dorking, Surrey) 61/60; Mark H (Littlestone, Kent) 135/81
Mark N (Stutton, Suffolk)  77/62; Martin C (Lydd, Kent) 140/92; 
Mathew B (Wrotham, Kent) 33/53; Matt P (Pulborough, West Sussex) 126/113; 
Michael D (Craster, Northumberland) 106/64; Mike P (Malling, Kent) 70/64; 
Mike R (Battle, East Sussex) 97/55; Oscar D (Chiswick, London) 67/64
Paul D (London) 84/44; Pete B (Shadoxhurst, Kent) 101/53; 
Phil B (Ramsgate, Kent) 54/30; Rebecca G (Balham, London) xx/15; 
Reuben B (Tufnell Park, London) 45/45; Richard F (Pinner, London) 63/35
Richard P (Charmouth, Dorset) 101/86;  Robin S (Cranleigh, Surrey) 101/57; 
Sam B (Enniskeane, Cork) 67/69; Seamus E (Thornton Cleveleys, Lancs) 67/48; 
Sean M (Pinner, London) 50/43; Seth G (Uig, Skye) 64/58; 
Stephen R (Harrogate, Yorks) 66/47; Steve C (Guildford, Surrey) 66/39; 
Steve G (Banstead, Surrey) 92/70; Steve T (Ewell, Surrey) 59/51
Steve W (Hawes, N Yorks) 91/64; Stewart S (Howick, Northumberland) 131/77; 
Stuart C (Walkern, Herts) xx/63; Sye W (Aston Clinton, Bucks) xx/45; 
Tony B (Woodford, London) 69/54; Wes A (Capel, Surrey) 96/90



Ric said…
It's certainly been a remarkable project Steve.

As said to my wife, we'll have to keep our eyes peeled. Apparently, Black-throated Diver is now a garden bird.

Mind you, I don't hold out much hope of getting one in Pinner. Then again, what about that inland London Cory's Shearwater?

Anything is possible. And clearly has been.
Stewart said…
Hi Steve,
It looks like my list will end on 79 species with Coot ( calling at night a first) and Common Whitethroat being added. If I get anything in the next 24 hrs I'll let you know. I am missing Collared Dove, Mistle Thrush ( I can nearly see one of those only a hundred yards away at the end of the village but not from the garden.), Grey Wag, Goldcrest, Sedge Warbler all pretty much expected at some time... I have added WTE, Gannet, Coot, Moorhen and Teal to my garden total since lockdown and have added Guillemot retrospectively.

Well done and thank you for organising, here's to your next project...

bob smith said…
Hi Steve
Thats me done I think. Many thanks for organising it. I was happy with my 37 species which given my 86 overall includes birds only likely to be seen in the autumn/winter I reckon I've seen over 50% of possible species. I was slightly annoyed to have missed the White tailed Eagle that was only 1/2 mile from me. There was also a Black Kite a mile away. Pity my garden is not on a hill with good views.
I was glad to be able to watch the garden systematically something I havent done for some time. Usually this time of year I'd be in France doing the same thing.
I always find that watching at first light is a good time to watch and also have ideas for writing so find i'm recording the birds and also noting down random thoughts.
I'll carry on doing this until the lockdown eases then combine it with patch observations.

Best Wishes

Hello Steve,

I didn't manage to add anything else today, so my total remains at 48. In terms of a percentage score based on my pre-lockdown list of 67, that's 71.641%.

Many thanks for organising this, it's been great fun, and I've never spent so much time in my garden birding!



Seumus E Thornton Cleveleys, Lancashire
Michael Drage said…
Common scoter takes my final total to 65, being up north we have not even had swift yet!

Thanks Steve for all your efforts organising this, a much appreciated distraction in these peculiar times


Mike Drage
Steve Gale said…
Thank you for all of your efforts during the challenge. It has been a pleasure seeing your observations. Keep safe!

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