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Old Wednesday 3rd December 2003, 17:21   #1
Elizabeth Bigg
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ANOTHER RSPB survey

There's another survey in January 2004 - details at:

http://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch/index.asp
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 13:49   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizabeth Bigg
There's another survey in January 2004 - details at:

http://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch/index.asp
I'm looking foward to it.
What slightly puzzles me is that it says it's the "Big garden birdwatch" but you can do it in a school, park or 'other'.
If it's done in a non-garden place, how much value is there in the records? After all, it's meant to be about which birds are most common in gardens and how they are faring year by year.
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 13:57   #3
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I don't know about anyone else, but whenever this day comes around, the birds in my garden may as well be extinct! Tons and tons of House Sparrows any other day, but not on Birdwatch Day, oh no.
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 14:18   #4
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Originally Posted by digi-birder
I don't know about anyone else, but whenever this day comes around, the birds in my garden may as well be extinct! Tons and tons of House Sparrows any other day, but not on Birdwatch Day, oh no.
It's not just me then! I usually have between 15 and 25 greenfinch in my garden almost every day in the winter. BIrdwatch Day last year - 3. It's as if they knew.
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 14:33   #5
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Originally Posted by digi-birder
I don't know about anyone else, but whenever this day comes around, the birds in my garden may as well be extinct! Tons and tons of House Sparrows any other day, but not on Birdwatch Day, oh no.
Stagefright??
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 14:40   #6
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Stagefright??
As Robin says, it's as if they know and they go all shy, so I spend an hour looking at feeders full of food but devoid of any life - or very little at best.

What I might do this year is say that I'm going to do it on one day and then surprise them and do it on the other! Do you think they'll twig?
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 14:46   #7
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I had almost forgotten that I'd started this thread - and the comments above all reflect my experiences. On one occasion I did the survey on the Saturday, and the results were so pathetic that I spent another hour the next day to see if I would get a more sensible result - it was very slightly better.

I am now getting up to 15 goldfinches at a time on the two new niger feeders, and on the ground beneath - I wonder if they'll desert me too?
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 14:51   #8
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The thing is, they say to contribute even if your count is low, but the trouble is that it's not typical, so they'll be saying, "Well, they don't have many Sparrows in Rotherham" whereas we have up to 30 some days. We also have a good few Greenfinches and loads of Goldfinches, except on the big day, of course.
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 15:43   #9
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This is why I feel the BTO's Garden BirdWatch is so much more satisfactory, since you are recording throughout the year, week by week. I should think the number of people willing to do this constant survey would be much smaller though.
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Old Friday 16th January 2004, 08:37   #10
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Originally Posted by Elizabeth Bigg
This is why I feel the BTO's Garden BirdWatch is so much more satisfactory, since you are recording throughout the year, week by week. I should think the number of people willing to do this constant survey would be much smaller though.
Hi All,

The idea behind BGBW is that the sample base is so large and negative results really are useful because they all fit into the pattern. In this Internet age, it would be possible to trace weather conditions and compare this with individual results if necessary. However, results from over 300,000 year upon year will tend to even out any anomalous results. This is the 25th Anniversary of BGBW and may not have escaped some of you that this is the same period that we measure Red and Amber data lists by. BGBW could potentially give some early warnings about population trends from now on and indeed, the survey has confirmed this with regard to where some species appear on the list. Anyone who keeps a year list will possibly have noticed something similar with certain species slipping out of the First Ten. Obviously, year lists are not quite so reliable and this is why BGBW is so important with its large sample base. Happy watching!
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Old Friday 16th January 2004, 08:55   #11
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This is the point I was making, Ian. But if I sent my reports in saying 2 Sparrows and 1 Blackbird, it would not be typical of the rest of the year and would give false results. Our garden is normally teaming with Sparrows.
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Old Friday 16th January 2004, 10:03   #12
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Yes, but with 300,000 people taking part, your usual sparrows will be picked up by someone else, whichever neighbour's garden they've gone on a visit to. So they'll have 30, rather than their usual 2.

Michael

PS 'teeming'
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Old Friday 16th January 2004, 10:06   #13
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PS 'teeming'
Oops!!
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Old Friday 16th January 2004, 10:22   #14
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It will be interesting to see what Jane Andrews list will be for the survey. Is there enough room for other birds?
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Old Friday 16th January 2004, 11:15   #15
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It will be interesting to see what Jane Andrews list will be for the survey. Is there enough room for other birds?
Andrews??? - or Turner?
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Old Friday 16th January 2004, 13:33   #16
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'You only need to record the birds that actually land in your garden, park or school--not the ones flying over'
so I'm afraid Jane T's Leach's petrels won't count! (although the word need does leave it ambiguous as to whether or not you can record overflying birds!)
I wonder if people put more food out in advance of the Big garden birdwatch in an attempt to entice more birds into their gardens? So that those who always put food out lose out during a temporary glut?
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Old Friday 16th January 2004, 20:08   #17
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Andrews??? - or Turner?
Oops - a Freudian slip on my part - sorry. Of course it is Turner
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Old Friday 16th January 2004, 20:21   #18
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Hey Guys,

Tell me I've got the wrong end of this thread?

'If we all report less birds than we normally see in our Gardens, then the RSPB will just adjust the figures to compensate????'

I don't get It???!!

Stupid Dave.
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Old Saturday 17th January 2004, 06:58   #19
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You have got the wrong end of the stick, deboo.
The RSPB are only saying that with a sample size of 300,000 anomalous results will be 'ironed out' in that there will be some gardens that have more birds than usual and some that have less.
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