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So – have you done it yet? I’ve just done mine and spotted a Blackbird, a Blue Tit, a Chaffinch, a Collared Dove, a House Sparrow, 2 Robins, 2 Starlings, 2 Greenfinches, 2 Great Tits and 8 Goldfinches!!! Bless ’em all…

Here’s what the RSPB have to say about it:

The Big Garden Birdwatch is the world’s biggest bird survey, providing us with a vital snapshot of the UK’s birds each winter.

Here are three reasons why you should help us celebrate our 30th birthday over the weekend of 24-25 January:

Reason 1: It’s fun
And you just never know what you’re going to see!

So go on, spend time with friends, family and children, put on your party hat, have a bit of birthday cake and enjoy yourself.

Reason 2: It’s easy
Was there ever a better excuse to stay in your armchair and stare out the window, than to say you’re just counting the birds in your garden? In fact, you’re likely to see more birds if you don’t go into the garden and disturb them.

For the last 30 years, the way we do the survey has remained exactly the same – watch the birds in your garden for an hour and record the maximum number of each species you see at one time.

You really don’t need to be an expert to take part. Whether you’re young or old, an ‘expert’ or a beginner, there really is no better place to start than our Big Garden Birdwatch.

Get yourself a cup of tea, something yummy to eat, put your feet up and enjoy watching the feathered visitors to your garden.

Reason 3: It only takes an hour
You can look at this two ways –

1: by giving up one hour you’re making a real difference to our knowledge of garden birds. We’ve learnt so much over the past 30 years about the birds in our gardens – not least how passionate people are about birds and wildlife.

We now have shedloads of data about house sparrows and starlings, blue tits and blackbirds and, well, probably any garden bird you can name.

This info is invaluable to us because there’s absolutely no way we could get so much of it without the help of all of you.

Our scientists can then use these patterns in bird numbers to help prioritise our bird conservation work. We’ve seen that house sparrows, starlings and song thrushes really need our help – we’re seeing fewer every year. Because we now know this, we’re looking into what we can all do to help them.

Or 2: treat yourself to an hour watching the birds in your garden. Go on, give yourself a break and enjoy the wildlife around you. You’ll feel refreshed, relaxed and inspired.

So, at some point over 24-25 January put an hour aside for you and the birds.

You’ll be making a big contribution to conservation, we’ll be really grateful and you’ll feel lovely, warm and fluffy (just like some of those birds).
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Go on – you know you want to!!

Visit www.rspb.org.uk where you can download a check list and get watching 🙂

Stephen Weller

So, what do you think ?