Coal tit 0, Great tit 1

birdwatch

Anybody else get involved with the annual RSPB Garden Birdwatch? It’s a whole lot of inexpensive fun, and they publicised it well this year. It involves making a note of all the bird species you see in a chosen hour over this designated weekend – if you see more than one of any species at any one time, you note that down too, creating a running total. (Clearly, you can’t count each blue tit you see in an hour, as it could be the same one, but if you see two at a time, you put down two. It’s tremendously exciting.) Then, when the hour’s up – no cheating! – you fill in the boxes, submit your findings and the RSPB have an instant survey from all across the country and can draw up a new hit parade of birds, down which the sparrow will continue to mysteriously plummet. I was really hoping a recent but regular visitor to my bird feeders would make an appearance, and he did: the charming blackcap, who comes under “scarcer birds” in the RSPB form. That made me very proud.

I was telling Michael Ball all about Birdwatch when I went in to appear on his Radio 2 programme at brunchtime. He couldn’t have been less interested. I still think they should give him a damehood.

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