Monday, 30 January 2012
RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch
This weekend saw the annual event which is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. It takes place on the last weekend in January and is easy to take part in as it only takes an hour.
The Big Garden Birdwatch was born 33 years ago in 1979 and was an experiment for the members of the Young Ornithologists` Club (which has now evolved into the RSPB Wildlife Explorers). Since then it has grown and grown, with adults being allowed to join in in 2001. In 2011 609,177 people took part and saw 10,262,501 birds. The principles have remained the same, you spend an hour watching birds in your garden and record what you see. It`s as simple as that.
This event has helped the RSPB track the health of our bird population and has in some way noted the tragic fall in `common` birds, such as House Sparrow, Starling and Song Thrush with the rise in numbers of birds such as the Goldfinch (the digiscoped picture above) and the Long-tailed Tit with the advent of Nyjer seed feeders and the popularity of feeding fat balls.
This year was just like any other year for me, with the usual suspects such as Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Blue and Great Tits outnumbering everything else (still have yet to note a House Sparrow), but a couple of nice surprises were a pair of Bullfinches and a male Blackcap.