This weekend was the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch. The idea is to spend an hour counting the different birds that visit your garden. This started in 1979 as an exercise to get kids involved in the RSPB and thanks to it being featured on the popular children's programme Blue Peter over 34,000 people submitted their counts. Now almost 40 years later and with over half a million people regularly taking part, Big Garden Birdwatch allows the RSPB to monitor trends and helps them understand how birds are doing.
With these results from so many gardens, the RSPB able to create a 'snapshot' of bird numbers across the UK and while some of the changes in bird numbers they have seen over the years can seem scary ( we've lost more than half our house sparrows and some three-quarters of our starlings) it isn't all doom and gloom. Since Birdwatch began blue tit numbers have risen by 20 per cent and the woodpigeon population has increased by a whopping 800 per cent.
So our results helps them spot problems, and is also the first step in putting things right. This is why it's so important that we count garden birds.
There are two birds on their list which are priority species but which are both regular visitors to my garden, the house sparrow and the starlings so at least in my neck of the woods they can see they're doing well. (these pics were taken earlier in the year.)
It wasn't a great day weather wise for the birds with wind and rain but here are the few that I spotted.
Blue Tit 1
Collared Dove 4
House sparrow 24
The results will be released in March so we can see the state of our local birds.