Best time of day for Big Garden Birdwatch?

Big Garden Birdwatch

Big Garden Birdwatch
Big Garden Birdwatch is the world's biggest wildlife survey. It's fun, easy and only takes an hour to do.
Big Garden Birdwatch

Best time of day for Big Garden Birdwatch?

  • Last year we were left bird less for most of the hour. We watched from 11am to 12. My husband got a bit restless! Can anyone advise on the best time of day to see the most birds please? Thanks, Pammy

  • Hi Pammy

    Mine seem to come and go at all times of the day so i can't really help but mine went missing too, i think they knew about the count.

    You don't have to continue with your hour if it goes quiet, pause it and restart when the birds turn up....

    We will get clarification off the mods closer to the time what we can and cannot do with our hour.

  • For a lot of busy folk it will be more a matter of getting a free hour.

  • I am very busy but love to do The Watch! It is great to sit still for an hour... something I rarely do. I just wanted someone to tell me if there is a time during the day when birds are more likely to visit my garden. I don't know a lot about birdy habits being a beginner, but eager to learn from the experts!

  • Hi Pamela

    I think most of us will give you different times, but my guess the most obvious times would be first thing in the morning (mine arrive 8-8:30am) and then again last thing in the afternoon (mine have just started arriving now) but are here on and off all day.

  • Thank you Alan, that is very helpful. I like getting up early in the morning but will have to give my husband a nudge! It's wilth the early morning tea then..... wish you all the best with yours.

  • Agree with Alan,if you get chance the early morning should be best as birds top up their food after "fasting"over night,just send the "boss man" out to make sure the feeders are topped up while your cuppa is brewing

  • I find my birds are most numerous first thing in the morning (once it is really light, then quiet till around 2 p.m., then a final flurry just before getting dark.   So I do my BHirdwatch early in the day, when birds are hungry after the night.   The most annoying thing is the woodpeckers, who come often but NEVER on birdwatch day!

  • Whilst different birds behave in different ways making it very difficult to speak generally, there are one or two points which seem to apply to most garden birds. The first is that after a long winters night birds are at their hungriest first thing in the morning meaning they will be actively foraging. If you have a variety of food available in the garden during this period then you stand a good chance of seeing some activity. Of course if the weather is wet and windy the birds might just decide to sit tight! If the weather is fine then doing your survey within an hour or two of sunrise may be worthwhile.

    The second point is about birds conserving energy. If birds are able to get their fill quickly in the morning then they may decide to spend much of the day loafing, that is finding a safe perch and doing very little. Towards the afternoon they may look to get some more food and probably spend some time drinking or bathing but the middle of the day for most species is usually a time to spend doing very little.

    As some of you have already mentioned first thing in the morning or mid afternoon are good times for watching garden birds. Ideally we would prefer it if you picked an hour and stuck it out to the end. If you don't see any birds during that hour, we still want to know that you took part and were not able to record anything.

    I hope this helps and good luck come survey time!

  • I agree early morning best - breakfast in the garden room I think!  Last year was terrible as it was wet and windy.  The birds you're most pleased to see NEVER turn up for birdwatch - I think they know it's happening ! ;-)