|Brambling (c. Jamie Durrant)|
Look out for Bramblings amongst the Chaffinch flocks. They are particularly fond of Beech mast, which is more widely available in central Europe. Bramblings form absolutely enormous flocks in some winters in places like Slovenia, whereas we can usually only muster flocks of less than ten birds. When beech mast is scarce or exhausted, the birds may well come to seed feeders, what a lovely sight!
|Beech Mast or nuts (c. O OSullivan)|
Two Top tips for the Garden Bird Survey: keep a notebook and pencil near your favourite watch point in the house. Note best numbers of the commoner birds and date them. By the end of each week you will already have noticed a pattern emerge. The weekend days are crucial for recording if you are out working, so notes are really a good idea and finally, keep the feeders topped up, even if you have to perform this task pre dawn or post dusk. Your reward will be decent garden bird watching, all weekend.