Over the weekend we took part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. We wrapped up warm, grabbed the camera and spent an hour counting the wild birds that visited our garden. It was absolutely brilliant!
The Birdwatch takes place every year with the aim of building a national picture of the wild bird population, which is a barometer for the health of the countryside in general. As well as contributing to the national survey it was the perfect opportunity to get the kids outside and involved in a fun activity.
Before doing our count we spent some time last week preparing a bird feast to entice our feathered friends to visit. First we made a new batch of fat cake feeders.
Then we had a go at the RSPB’s homemade seed feeders using an empty drinks bottle, some string and a wooden spoon. This was really quick, easy and fun; Lily had a great time showering the kitchen with bird seed and we eventually got most of it into the bottle!
On the day of the count the weather was fine and clear, we did our count in the morning as that’s a time when lots of birds are out and about. My mum and dad were visiting us too and it wasn’t long before all three generations of the family were keenly on the lookout.
Our first spot was through the kitchen window; a pair of long-tailed tits feasting on our fat cake feeders. We were too slow with the camera for these two, they were in and out of the garden while we were still fumbling around. I’ve never seen this species in our garden before so this was a fantastic start.
Fired up by our early success, we headed outside to see what else we could spot. Here’s a few snaps of some of our visitors; it’s so hard to take pictures of birds!
The count lasts for an hour and during that time the family activity pack had lots of ways to keep the kids busy. The RSPB website also has fun games and activities for the kids.
I was expecting the kids would love this activity and I wasn’t wrong – they were completely enthralled. I got totally carried away with the bird identifier on the RSPB website too, my bird knowledge is sketchy to say the least but it’s now a bit better! It felt really good to be part of such an important national survey and we all learned a lot about the wild birds that are on our doorstep. The event has left a real impression on Sam and Lily too, I’ve a feeling those feeders will be closely monitored by from now on….
Did you take part in the Birdwatch? I’d love to hear about your garden visitors.