Thursday, January 17, 2013

Twig listing!

Every birder lists. Any birder that tells you he/she doesn't keep any list at all is being economical with the truth. I know all manner of birders...some with world lists of over 7 000 species, a lot with world lists of 4 000 - 5 000 and even more with world lists around 1 - 2 000 (Which is where I am). I know walkers who like to bird when they are walking and some of them claim not to keep any lists at all. So what is it you are writing in that little notebook as we are walking then? I know a bloke who keeps a TV list - all the birds he has seen on the TV; a bloke who keeps a bog list - not the marshy kind but birds he has seen whilst sitting on his loo! The most common are year lists, patch lists, county lists and country lists - any country that the birder has visited. Some dedicated birders keep day lists and where they get the time from for this they only know.
Because the BTO and the RSPB publicise garden bird-watching (The BTO all year; the RSPB during a single weekend) nearly everyone has a garden list.
I have taken this a stage further and thought I'd start a TWIG list! Pick a single twig and see what lands on it. This narrows your birding right down!
This year I have seen 17 species on this single twig. It's kind of interesting and rigidly boring at the same time....I need to get out more.
I have managed to get some photos of a number of species to prove that I am looking at the same twig. So Long-tailed Tit:
Long-tailed Tit - On a twig
And Goldfinch in this week's snow.
Goldfinch - On THE twig
 And Great Tit before the snow - much the most frequent denizen of that twig.
Great Tit - On THE twig
 Greenfinch in the snow - the second most frequent bird.
Greenfinch - Same twig
 Blackbird - obviously! No other thrushes though 'cus there aren't any.
Blackbird - Same twig
Blue Tit. Not as frequent as I would have thought. Probably too wary of the local Sparrowhawk and so these pop out and soon shoot back into the cover of the bushes behind.
Blue Tit - Same, it is!
 And Chaffinch which doesn't seem to be much bothered by anything, including our cat.
Chaffinch - On THE twig
Siskin, Tree Sparrow and Dunnock have been on and off as though they were electrocuted. Wren, Robin and Coal Tit are much more frequent but I have not had the camera handy. Starling, Collared Dove, House Sparrow and Song Thrush have been Twigged but only once.
Now you just know you want to find your own twig!

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