As many of you will know, last weekend saw the return of the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch! This is an annual citizen survey event that is now in its 44th year. The survey provides the charity with valuable insight into the health of our bird populations across the country and informs action taken to protect and conserve species against the various threats they currently face.
Our Biodiversity Learning Development Officer, Becky, conducted her Birdwatch on the morning of the 28th of January from an urban front garden in South Wales. Her sightings included a Pied Wagtail dashing along a roadside kerb, 12 House Sparrows making a racket in a nearby thicket of brambles, and one Robin fiercely defending a feeder full of mealworms.
This contrasts with our Biodiversity Course Coordinator Emmi, who lives near water in the countryside and could therefore add Mallards and Moorhens to her list, as well as Buzzards and a Great Spotted Woodpecker!
Did you participate this year?
The deadline to submit your results is the 19th of February! The RSPB is emphatic about including any and all results – even if you saw nothing, this is still valuable in painting an accurate picture of how our birds are doing across the UK.
If you didn’t participate, remember that it’s still important to monitor our birds all year round, so you didn’t miss out! When you do head out birdwatching, remember to log your sightings – apps such as BirdTrack, an online recording scheme from the BTO, RSPB, and BirdWatch Ireland, will enable you to store your records and have them automatically sent to your local county recorder. You can also send your sightings directly to country recorders or local bird clubs, or you can use iRecord, which is a fantastic platform for submitting biological records of any kind.
If you’re new to biological recording, we have a couple of free educational resources that explain why it is so important, how to make your data valuable, and getting to grips with grid references.
- Field Studies Guidance Note: Biological Recording
- Field Studies Guidance Note: Grid References for Biological Recording
Would you like to get better at birdwatching?
Improving your bird field skills will not only enhance the fun had on your trips outside, but it will also help you to become a better recorder and a greater contributor to bird conservation.
The Field Studies Council run ‘Bird Field Skills’ courses both online and in-person; our next available dates are:
- Tue 28, February 2023 – Tue 28, March 2023 – Online – click here to book
- Sat 25th March 10:00-17:00 – Margam Discovery Centre – click here to book
We also run a number of other bird courses throughout the year at locations across the UK – check them out here, and don’t forget to browse our range of bird field guides, an absolute must for spotting our feathered friends!