This year the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch takes place over three days for the first time, running from Saturday 28 January to Monday 30 January, this means that if you are busy over the weekend or the weather is bad you still have the option to take part on the Monday – you could even do it at work in your dinner hour!
The Big Garden Birdwatch has now been going over 35 years, it originally started in 1979 as a Winter activity that junior RSPB members could get involved in, Biddy Baxter who was then the editor of Blue Peter liked the idea and featured it on one the programmes, the response was amazing with over 34,000 people sending in their forms, it wasn’t until 2001 that adults were invited to join in the fun too.
Schools can take part in the Big Schools Birdwatch anytime before 17 February 2017, either as a whole school or in classes; the Birdwatch is suitable for all ages and abilities and an invaluable educational activity which allows pupils to get closer to nature and become aware of their environment and its wildlife.
Visit the RSPBs website and register for your free pack which is full of fascinating facts, tips and advice.
Make sure that you have plenty of bird feeders and bird food available in your garden; it is recommended that you feed the birds throughout the year and not just for the Big Garden Birdwatch or during Winter. If your bird feeders have been out at while it may be an idea to give them a wash before filling them up, this applies to your bird baths also as good hygiene and clean water are very important.
On the day – Find somewhere warm, dry and comfortable to view the birds, have a pen, your checklist/pad, a pair of binoculars and friends/family who can also look for birds.
What to do – For one hour count the maximum number of each species that you see at any one time, this means that you are less likely to double count the same birds.
Here are some of the more common birds that you might see:
- Blue tit
- Coal tit
- Collared dove
- Great tit
- House sparrow
- Long-tailed tit
Keep watching closely there are many other species that may visit your garden especially if the weather is cold.
Send in your Birdwatch results to the RSPB by 17th February 2017.
For more information and advice on feeding the birds in your garden click here.
I shall be taking part, happy bird watching