You can take part in the birdwatch as well as join in other fun nature-based activities from home.
With the help of half a million people, RSPB’s survey is the UK’s biggest citizen science project and the largest wildlife survey in the world. It has monitored the birds that come into people’s gardens, plotting the trends over the past 40 years.
People are asked to spend just an hour of their time recording the birds that land as seen from their windows, balconies or gardens, and submitting their results to the wildlife charity.
Since the start of the pandemic, nature has been a real boost to our mental health and wellbeing. Many people have come to rely on garden birds to bring joy and comfort in these unsettling times. Last year, more than 7,800 residents from Dorset took part – the RSPB is hoping even more will join in this year.
During last year’s survey, house sparrows topped the list of most commonly seen birds both across the country and here in Dorset, despite wider national decline. Starlings and blue tits were second and third on the list respectively.
Other birds featuring in the Dorset “top ten” were goldfinches, great tit and long tailed tits.
The Big Garden Birdwatch will create a ‘snapshot’ of bird numbers across the UK and how they have fared since the project began over 40 years ago. To help with their research, the charity is asking for all those taking part to ensure they share what they’ve seen during the hour by submitting their results at rspb.org.uk/birdwatch.
There is no need to be a bird expert to take part – the RSPB will provide a FREE Big Garden Birdwatch guide, which includes a bird identification chart, top tips for your birdwatch, RSPB shop voucher, plus advice on how to help you attract wildlife to your garden, for those who text BIRD to 70030 or register at www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch.
RSPB’s chief executive, Beccy Speight, said, “We know that for many people, garden birds provide an important connection to the wider world and bring enormous joy. Lockdown brought few benefits, but the last year has either started or reignited a love of nature for many people. There has been a broad and much needed realisation that nature is an important and necessary part of our lives especially for our mental health and wellbeing. But nature needs us too.
“By taking part in the Birdwatch, you are helping to build an annual snapshot of how our birdlife is doing across the UK. It is only by us understanding how our wildlife is faring that we can protect it. We know that nature is in crisis but together, we can take action to solve the problems facing nature.”
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