As a loyal RSPB member I took part in the Big Garden Birdwatch last weekend. As our flat does not come with a garden, I took myself down to the park (Cherry Tree Wood) for an hour’s birdwatching on a sunny but windy Sunday morning. As well as many pigeons and three black-headed gulls (thanks to the recent weather, the ground is sodden; last summer, ducks were sighted), I saw some redwings, tits of the great and blue varieties and even a goldfinch, which I didn’t recall having seen in Cherry Tree Wood before.
Being a committed birdwatcher (or should that be ‘birder’? I am currently reading Bill Oddie’s Little Black Bird Book and he thinks that the term ‘bird-watcher’ is old hat), I keep a record of the birds I see, and after writing up my sightings I was able to compare them with what I saw in Cherry Tree Wood the week before (when it was snowing) and what I saw in Cherry Tree Wood when I did the Big Garden Birdwatch last year. I was a little disappointed that the goldcrest, the long-tailed tits and the singing wren didn’t make an appearance this time around, but I can note with satisfaction that I saw the same number of species (eleven) as I did last year.
My records also show that I have seen a goldfinch in Cherry Tree Wood before – on 10th January 2010 to be precise. How could I have forgotten? In my defence, it was one bird three years ago and to paraphrase from one of my all-time favourite movies, I wrote it down so I wouldn’t have to remember it.