Once again we had a very successful Big Schools’ Birdwatch and managed to submit four sets of results, with most children having the opportunity to contribute. We saw a grand total of 28 different species of bird, surpassing even last year’s impressive total of 23. It was noticeable this year how much the children’s knowledge of birds has increased, helped by their trips down to the bird hides at Ogston Reservoir at the end of last year.
The recent snowy weather led to some interesting results. The first week’s sessions were carried out while snow still blanketed the school grounds and we had some very unusual visitors. By the second week, the snow had gone and our more typical birds returned. By far the most exciting sighting was that of a Woodcock which took off from the corner of the school field in the wooded/ditch area. The long billed Woodcock is usually only active after dusk but during severe weather (as we had during the first week) it can be forced out during the day to forage for food. Members of the Thrush family (Fieldfare, Redwing, Mistle Thrush and Song Thrush) were also more common during the first week. Bullfinch returned in their usual numbers once the snow had cleared, allowing them to forage for seeds under the Alder trees. For the first time we recorded Yellowhammers in the school grounds, although they are often seen in the surrounding fields. Finally, it was great to see good numbers of Tree Sparrows, especially as we know that they had at least one failed brood last year. Surprisingly, we didn’t record any House Sparrows this year.
|Species||24th Jan Class 3||25th Jan Class 2/3||1st Feb Class 2||1st Feb Class 1|
|TOTAL BIRDS SEEN||50||36||53||37|