RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

This weekend, the 26th and 27th January 2013, is the weekend of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) annual Big Garden Birdwatch. This is a form of citizen science by which the RSPB can harness the collective spotting power of the nation to assist in compiling data on the nations bird populations.

The idea is to spend one hour noting which bird species visit a chosen area and the maximum number of each seen at any one time. This point is important because an individual can make several visits over the course of an hour, so counting total numbers will overestimate the numbers of a particular species.

A long tailed tit paying a visit to my garden this morning

If you want to make a pot of tea and sit by the window for a relaxing hour sipping and counting the details of how to take part are here on the RSPB’s website. Even if you don’t get many interesting birds in your garden, or even many birds at all, this is important and useful data too for compiling population sizes and distributions, so every participant is crucial in creating an accurate picture of the health of the nations birdlife. Which is in turn a useful indicator of the health of the natural environment in the UK as a whole.

I’m going to do my recording tomorrow morning and I’ll post my results here too.

17 responses to “RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

  1. Hi Finn,

    Forgive me as I am just catching up with many an email so will read up on your findings later. Let us not forget the wonderful British Trust for Ornithology’s BirdTrack reporting scheme, to which you can also send in your Odonata sightings.

  2. That’s a great photo and a very cute bird!

  3. Your long tailed tit is a delight, it looks as if it’s holding its breath. I meant to join in this survey but I forgot. I should have done it at lunchtime when there were lots of birds feeding, but I notice now that it’s pouring with rain and the birds have vamooshed. It would have been nice to do it on Friday here because I saw a goldcrest, long tailed tits and a starling, all rare visitors, and a yellowhammer appeared too which is the first I’ve ever seen in the garden.

    • Wow, goldcrest and yellowhammer in your gardcen on the same day! I’ve only ever seen one each of those here in my garden.

      • It was an exceptionally good day! I think it was probably due to all the snow, we had about a foot of the stuff and the wee birdies were clearly having trouble locating food. There was a starling on the fat balls too, which is very unusual here.

      • I’m surprised that starlings are so scarce up your way. I see lots of them in Denmark which is on a similar latitude to Scotland. Are they uncommon all year round?

  4. Thank you for the reminder, Finn. It’s funny though – in previous years when we have done this, our busy bird garden has suddenly become deserted, as if the birds don’t want to become mere statistics. They flutter off somewhere unobserved to avoid becoming just a number 🙂

    • Hello Meanderer, I know what you mean, yesterday the garden was full of birds but this morning first thing it appeared deserted. So filled the feeders and waited for the first birds to appear, which happened to be four long tailed tits, and then started counting. And then the lilttle darlings did me proud, with almost all my regulars putting in appearances.

  5. Reblogged this on MottledThrush and commented:
    Do all that you can to help the wildlife, and help offset the destruction of mankind.

  6. Fabulous photograph Finn. Thanks for the reminder of the Big Garden Birdwatch.

  7. That long tailed tit (a.k.a. fluffy golfball with a tail 😉 ) looks cold! I won’t be taking part in this wonderful event because if I did, I might break some poor British Ornithologists brain with what I see in an hour ;). As a fellow bird lover I really enjoy your bird posts…if they are carying fungi in their mouths to line their nests all the better! ;). It will be interesting to see what you are able to see in your garden for 1 hour, I am looking forward to that post 🙂

    • I reckon if someone posted a record of a kookaburra it would be the first time ever. It would raise a smile or two at RSPB HQ 😉 I’ve just done the count – results to follow shortly.

      • Can’t wait to see what your winter garden came up with. I would imagine you would get a greater percentage of wild birds turning up in winter in search of food so it’s probably the best time to do a survey 🙂

      • Bizarrely, after all the foul and cold weather over the last month or so, the weather went damp and mild yesterday and all the snow had disappeared today. But luckily, they still turned up.

Please share your thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s