Get Ready for the Big Garden Birdwatch

A Lesser Redpoll on my Verbena bonariensis - a new visitor to the garden

Apologies for the poor quality picture, but I had to show you VP Gardens' latest new visitor, a Lesser Redpoll.

I found a pair of them attacking the seedheads on my Verbena bonariensis last weekend, a great advertisement for not being too tidy in the garden in the autumn/winter.

These red listed birds are a more familiar sight in Scotland, Wales and eastern England, though they may visit gardens like mine in the south west during the winter.

Their acrobatic antics were a joy to behold - fingers crossed they make a reappearance during my Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend!

Update 31/1: My count this morning was - wood pigeon 5, crow 2, long tailed tit 3, great tit 1, magpie 3, wren 1, blackbird 3, blue tit 2, robin 2 and goldcrest 1. Weather dull and mild. Not bad for diversity (though it has been better, usually on a sunny day), but numbers were down considerably.


  1. Lucky you it's a bird that I've never seen, and I hope that you get to see it again this weekend. Only once have I seen an uncommon bird, a male blackcap, whilst doing Birdwatch. Fingers crossed that we both have a good one. Flighty xx

    1. I occasionally see blackcaps in the garden - never on Big Garden Watch days though!

  2. We have had just one visit from a redpoll a couple of years ago. Our other rare visitor was a female blackcap again just one visit. If things carry on as they are our bird count this year will be low.

    1. I've found a lot depends on the weather. On sunny days the garden's bursting with birds, but on dull days (not even raining or windy) there's very little activity. I wonder whether others find that too and how much it affects the results?

  3. Oh lucky you VP! We've never had a redpoll visit - well not when we've been looking :) I hope that they call in again at the weekend.

  4. What a great collection of birds for your bird watch! The wrens, long tail tits, goldfinch and green finch all stayed away for mine - typical :)

    1. Angela - plenty of birds stayed away from my garden too! I usually have lots of chaffinch and greenfinches in my count and a lovely thrush has been singing in the evening over the past few days. Was it there on birdwatch day? Of course not ;)


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