Shameless.

Shameless use of a press release while I am otherwise engaged… over to Kate Jones of the RSPB:

“Thousands of people across Merseyside are expected to watch and count their garden birds for the upcoming RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2018.
The world’s largest garden wildlife survey, now in its 39th year, takes place on 27, 28 and 29 January 2018. The public are asked to spend just one hour watching and recording the birds in their garden or local green space, then send their results to the RSPB.
Close to half-a-million people joined in the world’s largest garden wildlife survey in 2017, including almost 6000 in Merseyside, counting more than eight million birds and providing valuable information about the wildlife using our gardens in winter. The house sparrow remained top of the Big Garden Birdwatch rankings in the county, with blackbird and starling rounding off the top three.
To help prepare for Big Garden Birdwatch 2018, there are events on offer around Liverpool this January – from discovering how to attract more wildlife into your garden to gaining tips on how to identify the creatures that live on your doorstep.
Meet the RSPB Liverpool Local Group in the Palm House at Sefton Park, Liverpool on Sunday 21 January. Volunteers will be on hand from 12-4pm with information about taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, assisting with bird identification and advising on how to attract garden wildlife.
The RSPB will be at Otterspool Park in Liverpool on Sunday 28 January to provide information on Big Garden Birdwatch as well as advice on helping garden wildlife and identifying birds. Drop-in from 10am-3pm.
Daniel Hayhow, RSPB Conservation Scientist said: “The birds we see in our garden are often the first experience we have with nature – whether it’s a flock of starlings at the feeder, a robin perched on the fence or some house sparrows splashing in the bird bath. But it may come as a surprise to know that some of our most-loved species are in desperate need of our help as their numbers have dropped dramatically.
Species such as starlings and greenfinches have seen their numbers visiting gardens decline by 79 and 59 per cent retrospectively since the first Birdwatch in 1979.
Daniel added: “The Big Garden Birdwatch is a great opportunity to get involved with helping our garden wildlife. By counting the birds that visit your outdoor space, you’ll be joining a team of over half-a-million people across the UK who are making a difference for nature. It only takes an hour so grab a cuppa, sit back and see who makes a flying visit to your garden.”
As well as counting birds, the RSPB is once again asking participants to log some of the other wildlife they have seen throughout the year. This year, people are being asked to look out for badger, fox, grey squirrel, red squirrel, muntjac deer, roe deer, frog and toad.
To take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch 2018, participants should watch the birds in the garden or local park for one hour at some point over the three days. Only the birds that land in the garden or local park should be counted, not those flying over. The highest number of each type of bird seen at any one time then needs to be sent to the RSPB.
The parallel event, Big Schools’ Birdwatch takes place during the first half of spring term next year, 2 January-23 February 2018. Further information can be found at rspb.org.uk/schoolswatch
For a free Big Garden Birdwatch pack, which includes a bird identification chart, plus RSPB shop voucher and advice to help attract garden wildlife, text BIRD to 70030 or visit rspb.org.uk/birdwatch ”

2 thoughts on “Shameless.

  1. The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch is set to bring more than half-a-million people together this weekend (27, 28 and 29 January) as people uncover what is happening in their garden, helping to create an annual snapshot of how UK birds are doing.
    Now in its 39th year, the Birdwatch is a chance for people of all ages to count the number of birds that visit their garden, to help the RSPB build up a picture of how our feathered friends are doing at this time of year.
    Last year close to half-a-million people across the UK took part, including almost 6000 in Merseyside, making Big Garden Birdwatch the world’s biggest wildlife survey. Last year house sparrow was top of the list in the county, along with some other familiar species like robin, blackbird and starling in the top 10.
    This year the RSPB is curious to see how these figures will change following a positive year for some of our resident British birds, such as greenfinches, chaffinches, blue tits, great tits and long-tailed tits. Numbers of greenfinches have been impacted by Trichomonosis for the last decade and the disease has been documented in other garden birds, such as chaffinches. More recently there was a downward trend in Big Garden Birdwatch sightings of the different tit species, which was thought to be linked to the prolonged wet weather in the 2016 breeding season.
    However, the 2017 season appeared to be a good one for these resident birds which has fuelled speculation that this year could be a bumper weekend of sightings.
    With results from gardens from all corners of the UK, the RSPB is able to use the valuable data to build up a snapshot of the birds that are reliant on the food, water and shelter that can be found in our outdoor spaces at this time of the year. When combined with 38 years of data from previous Birdwatches, it allows the RSPB to monitor trends and understand which birds are struggling and are in need of our help.
    The RSPB is also asking about the other wildlife seen in gardens over the last year, such as badgers, foxes, grey squirrels, red squirrels, muntjac deer, roe deer, frogs and toads, to help build an overall picture of how important gardens are in giving nature a home.
    To take part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2018, simply spend an hour over the weekend watching the birds in your garden, outdoor space or local park. Once you have recorded the birds that make a visit, whether it’s a sparrow, starling or siskin, submit your results online at http://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch.
    Big Schools Birdwatch has been taking place in schools across the UK since the first week of January. Running until 23 February, it is a chance for children to put down their books and get outside to experience and learn about the nature that lives in their local community. To take part visit http://www.rspb.org.uk/schoolsbirdwatch

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