We love to birdwatch at any time of the year but particularly enjoy taking part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. It’s a great opportunity to take an hour out, relax and engage with nature (and each other). What you spot, record and report enables the RSPB to analyse trends and help effectively protect the UK’s birdlife. Sadly, the UK has lost 38 million birds from its skies in the last 50 years; the RSPB is doing everything it can to reverse this and you can help…
How do you take part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch?
Firstly sign up (it takes about a minute) and they’ll send you everything you need including your free Big Garden Birdwatch guide.
Then just choose one hour between Friday, 28th January and Sunday, 30th January to spot your birds. If you don’t have a garden don’t worry, you can choose an area in your local park, green space or even street.
In that hour, tally up all the different bird species you see. Only count those that land, not those flying over and just record the highest number of each species you see at any one time (that is if you see five sparrows and then a further two, count it as five and not seven). This means you don’t risk counting the same bird twice.
Then, after your count, head to rspb.org.uk/birdwatch to submit your results.
What we’ve done to prepare for our birdwatch
We’ve stocked up on a variety of bird food, which includes fat balls, a seed mix with mealworms (particularly attractive for robins and blackbirds), wild seed mix and nuts, which are popular for great tits, blue tits, woodpeckers, jays etc. Birds are very appreciative of kitchen scraps. These are a very cost-effective way of attracting and feeding them.
We have a couple of hanging bird feeders and a bird table so it should be a good combination. If you haven’t already got any feeders/table already in situ, set up new items as far ahead of the Big Garden Birdwatch as possible as birds can be quite cautious/skeptical about change.
We’ve also got our trusty binoculars at the ready and the hot chocolate on standby.
Make sure you have your phone or camera to hand to take some photos.
Some children-friendly bird books
You’ll receive the Big Garden Birdwatch guide, which includes the most common species that you are likely to see. However, I’d definitely recommend getting a more comprehensive guide to identify more unusual varieties and spark the twitcher in you and your children 🙂
- RSPB First Book Of Birds – Anita Ganeri, David Chandler
- i-SPY Birds – Collins Michelin i-SPY Guides – we’re big fans of these pocket-sized boredom busters!
- Birds – Usborne Spotter’s Guides
- RSPB My First Book of Garden Birds – Mike Unwin, Sarah Whittley
To take part visit: https://www.rspb.org.uk/