Last weekend was the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch and I chose Saturday to do my count. Unintentionally, I always seem to pick the day with the worst weather and this year was no exception – drizzly and windy! As planned though, this year’s count was done in my grandma’s garden (2016 was at my mum’s and last year was at my in-law’s) as I am very interested to see the results from different locations.
© the Green & the Wild
My grandma has been putting food out over winter, so after ensuring there was plenty on the grass and in the feeder, I sat in her conservatory between 11:30am – 12:30pm expecting to at least see my grandma’s regular garden visitors (2 woodpigeons and 2 magpies), but all I counted in the whole hour was a fleeting visit from a single blackbird and one woodpigeon!
As it is just as important to record no birds as it is many birds, I wasn’t disappointed but my grandma was keen for me to see the regulars, so later that afternoon once the weather had cleared up, we had another ‘birdwatch’ and would you believe it, within five minutes the lawn was crowded with two blackbirds, one of the two regular magpies and three woodpigeons, one of which was a juvenile which I found very sweet as the whole family was out for dinner together!
I didn’t manage to take any photographs of the birds this year, so instead I thought I would take part in the RSPB #ShareHowYouWear…
© My RSPB and some of my other wildlife charities pin badges. I usually pick a species that represents the RSPB reserve I buy it from or is a bird that I have seen there.
Did you take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch this year? If so, please share with us what you counted and of course, don’t forget to submit your results!
It’s January… the month of predicted snow showers and welcoming hygge… but also time to get your binoculars out and fill up your bird feeders, as the Big Garden Birdwatch is once again upon us!
That’s right, the RSPB is holding their annual birdwatch from 27th – 29th of this month and they want you to get involved. You can request a FREE pack on their website now and that’s it, you will be set to take part in the world’s largest garden wildlife survey! On your chosen day, simply get comfy in your garden, a room with a good view outside, your local park or green space and count the birds that you see in a single hour, making sure you jot down the maximum number of each species you see at any one time. Once the hour is up, you will then have to log your results on the Big Garden Birdwatch website or post your paper form (within three weeks) for the RSPB to collate and analyse!
By taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, you will play a vital role in the health of the UK’s wildlife and even help “change the fortunes of an entire species“. There’s nothing to lose! Last year around 500,000 people took part in the birdwatch and I think we can beat that amazing figure this year – so join me in being a citizen scientist and request your pack today!
“Gardens can prove a real life-saver for birds at this time of year, especially when it is frosty or snowy“, so if you are eager to count lots of birds during the survey and need some inspiration on how to attract them into your garden during the cold months (as well as all year round), check out the RSPB’s gardening tips!
© Chaffinch. One of the many birds I spotted near my local brook last Autumn. 2017.
If you remember from My Big Garden Birdwatch Results blog post at the end of January, I took part in the RSPB’s annual birdwatch, and I am sure many of you did too! The RSPB has been collecting and counting the results from over half a million people over the last couple of months and the results are now available here!
The top 10 birds of 2017:
- House sparrow
- Blue tit
- Great tit
- Long tailed tit
Over 8 million birds were counted, with some interesting results. Goldfinch, blackbird and robin numbers have all increased over the last 10 years. Waxwing sightings were very high this year (I wish I had seen one) due to “a lack of berries in their native Scandinavia” prompting them to travel to the UK, even as far west as Wales and Ireland!
Along with the increases though, there unfortunately had to be some decreases! Surprisingly sightings of blue tits, great tits and coal tits were all down by at least 10% on last year’s figures. Also since the first RSPB Garden Birdwatch in 1979, greenfinch, starling and chaffinch numbers have all dropped too (despite the latter two being in this year’s top 10).
The RSPB is a brilliant charity and by running the Big Garden Birdwatch, they not only encourage people to take an interest in wildlife and give nature a home, but also allow us to know and understand which birds are doing well and which are not. We can then help, take action, monitor and hopefully make a difference!