Are you looking for something to do this weekend? Why not take part in the world’s largest wildlife survey! It is not too late to take part in this year’s Big Garden Birdwatch (29th – 31st January) run by RSPB. All you need is an hour of your time, a notebook and pen. Full instructions and downloadable resources to help you are available at: RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch (opens in a new window).
Ranger Natalie, tells us how she got on today with her birdwatch…
I look forward to this survey every year, so over the last two weeks I have been making a special effort to encourage more birds into the garden. I have cleaned and topped up the bird bath daily and even tried my hand at making a few fat ball feeders. I usually don’t put food out for the birds as we have so many squirrels! The clean water supply is usually enough to bring in a few regular visitors. Don’t worry If you haven’t prepared though, you can still take part.
The weather today is not ideal for counting birds, it’s blowing an absolute hooley! The pesky squirrels also found my fat balls yesterday, so I’m unsure how many birds I will spot. The opportunity however to take an hour to myself and just enjoy looking out onto the garden with a nice cup of coffee is very appealing. Things are very uncertain at the moment and I know a lot of people are struggling with their mental health; this is the perfect opportunity to slow down and take a break from the normal routine. What makes me feel even better about it is that I will taking part in such a valuable survey and even if I don’t see anything, it’s still valuable information for the RSPB.
It’s now 10am which, from recent observation, seems to be a good bird time in my garden so I shall be watching for an hour and I will let you know how I get on…
The first 30 minutes of my survey was a squirrel showdown! There were two trying to get past the ‘baffle’ that I had put up over my fat balls. Their antics were very amusing and they kept me well entertained however I knew their presence was keeping the birds away and it was birds I was interested in! By 10:30 the squirrels had had their fill and, as if by magic, the sun peeked out from behind a cloud and a robin appeared! Hurrah my first bird for the list. It was quickly followed by a female blackbird who was scratching around under a bush. I watched these two for a while going about their business. I like the way the robin is so cautious, always hiding in the bush by the feeder then making a quick dart back and forth. By the end of the survey, I was up to two robins and my blackbird. Not exactly a frenzy of activity however I’m pleased with what I saw and really enjoyed it.
Let me know what you spot in your garden and enjoy it!