I've just done my hour - I had a practise hour yesterday to 'get my eye in'. As I work full time I don't get much chance for gazing out in daylight hours, but do maintain 9 hanging feeders and two tables and ground feed.
First chance to do a who's missing list;
Happy that others are seeing longtailed tits - my flock is down to two
No Jays, No coal tits, and lower numbers of Blue Tits, Chaffinches
On the plus side, I heard a woodpecker drumming in the ajoining woodland - Spring is coming
Perhaps mine are put off by the three grey squirrels chasing each other around the garden
Just done my hour and and was quite shocked to realise how many of the smaller birds are down in numbers or non-existent. Like you, no coal tits, also no long-tails and very few house sparrows (which had been increasing over the last few years), blue or great tits. On the plus side, loads of starlings and for the first time ever, 3 bramblings. Guess the final results will show a lot of losses from another cold winter.
I have finished my hour only common birds in my garden. Sparrows seem to go for a break when I am counting they must be squabbling in someone elses bushes. Blackbirds are having a good show of numbers trying to claim territory. Bluetits are nervously pecking on the suet coconuts and leaving after a few seconds and the fat pigeon waddles around getting fatter. Robin feeds a little then sings a song from the tall trees next door. What would we do without birds my garden would be lifeless.
I work from home and in the course of a week I tend to see quite few feathered visitors to my garden but during my hour I would have expected to see Blue Tits , Coal Tits, a Dunnock and Jays (which are all regular visitors) but none of them made an appearance.
We did two birdwatches - one on Saturday at our place by Afon Conwy and one on Sunday in Bletchley in the South Midlands.
At Conwy, 204 birds; at Bletchley 16.
Conspicuously missing -
(a) at Conwy, no swans, herons, cormorants, dunnocks or wrens;
(b) at Bletchley there was nothing except a few tits, some blackbirds, wood pigeons and a solitary goldfinch - this record is bad, the worst we have seen in years. They have been fed as usual and even allowing for their tendency to hide while being counted, it is quite extraordinary.
We wonder why. The cold winter perhaps, but this is worse than usual.
This is the second year I have done the BGBW. The drop in numbers from last year is very noticeable even allowing for the prolonged bad weather in December and early January when the garden was generally full of birds scoffing anything put out for them. Most of the birds who regularly visit were absent over the weekend, even the feral pigeons (anything up to 20 often to be seen on my roof) couldn't be bothered to put in more than a token appearance by 4 of them. A pied wagtail appeared last week for the first time, but not at the weekend. The 7or 8 strong group of long tailed tits was down to only 2. Despite a large number of starlings gathering in the trees on a nearby lane, only 4 appeared yesterday but 10 were on the bird table and hanging off assorted feeders (including the secluded ones in the bushes). Typical! The most noticeable absence was the house sparrow, none been seen for weeks. The results in March will be interesting.