This weekend is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2019 (26th-28th January, i.e. it includes Monday, which is an allowance for busy weekends, bad weather and possibly easy school participation I think). Many of us take part in this every year so that we can see for ourselves which bird species are thriving or failing in our local area.
There’s power in numbers. The more people who take part the better the statistics, so if you get a chance, why not join in? It takes just an hour and is great fun, whether you participate on your own, as a family or in a group. In fact we don’t have to restrict ourselves to just birds because, as of 2014, the survey includes observations of other animals (squirrels, badgers, snakes, hedgehogs etc) so that a broader snapshot of the state of our wildlife can be made. And since the BirdWatch has been happening for 40 years there is a decent timeline for looking at trends and correlating with other environmental data.
So I’ve filled the birdbaths, stocked up on sunflower seeds, fat balls and peanuts and the feeders have been filled ready for the weekend. Someone pointed that I should remember to put some food on the ground for the more earth-based feeders. Fair point! I don’t usually do it for fear of encouraging rats, which have been a problem in the past (and I know live in the compost heap). However, I will go out tomorrow morning to buy some mealy worms to get that covered, plus I might try putting some oats out in a dish too to see what that attracts. Maybe one of these:
Are you ready to a break, sit down with a cup of tea, look out the window and count?