Apologies for the lack of posting this week, I’ve been completely distracted with BBC’s Winterwatch. How fantastic has it been? The otters were far too cute and my cat, Sinbad, has been completely besotted with the mice mazes. I don’t know about you, but I found it quite shocking to discover that we don’t know the number of mountain hares we have in existence, but we are quite happy to cull them. Such a destructive species, that we are. However, let’s join forces and do some good; it’s RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend.
The premise is pretty simple, watch your garden for an hour over this weekend and note down the birds you see. The RSPB website has some great ideas to attract birds to your garden but don’t worry if you leave out food on Saturday and you don’t see any. They can take a bit of time to find the food. Hopefully they’ll come on Sunday.
It’s been a few years since I’ve had a garden so I was delighted for the opportunity to start leaving out water, fat balls, seeds and the odd bit of bread, and I recently discovered boiled potatoes are also a good hit.
Hopefully, you’ll feel encouraged to keep this up after the weekend too. The trick is not to overfeed them, as although it is lovely to see your garden flourishing with our feathered friends, it’s not good for them to become dependent. I tend to leave out food regularly when the weather is bad; during snowy and freezing temperatures as food can be harder for them to source. Otherwise it’s normally over the weekend.
It’s a great opportunity to see how our birds are faring, especially given the erratic weather we’ve had recently, and gives insight on species that might be declining or increasing, for example, so it’s vital for conservation purposes.
So gather up your meal worms, peanuts and bird feeders and write down what you see (but not in a Catchphrase kind of way). You can submit your results here, where you can find information on submitting them online or by paper, etc.
If you get a minute, comment your findings below and I’ll update with my results too!