2019 Garden Birdwatch

January 19

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Bird Garden Birdwatch.

The Big Garden Birdwatch was launched in 1979 as a simple winter activity for junior RSPB members to count the birds in their gardens, all at the same time. This was to enable the RSPB to be able to work out the UK’s top 10 most common garden birds. The response was so great with 34,000 forms being received the “Big Garden Birdwatch” became the regular event it is today and grown-ups were asked to join in the fun from 2001. The event now in its 40th year and is the world’s largest garden wildlife survey.  As the format has remained the same it has allowed the RSPB to monitor trends to see how different species are doing, making the results very valuable indeed. Results have shown we have lost more than half our house sparrows and three-quarters of our starlings but blue tit numbers have risen by 20 per cent.

The Big Garden Birdwatch takes place 26 – 28 January 2019 and all you need to do is pick an hour over this weekend to spot all the birds in your garden -  register at www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch/.

At Hatfield Forest we have lots of different birds some who live there all year and others who come for the winter as our winters are much milder than where they have come from. An example of this is the Greylag Goose which can regularly be seen on the lake. Some of these stay all year but we do have winter arrivals from Iceland and these have a much pinker beak unlike our resident greylags that have an orange beak.

Winter is a tough time for all birds so remember to keep your bird feeds topped up and you could even make some fat balls with lard, seed and sultanas. All you need to do is roll up your sleeves and get squidgy until it is in fabulous balls of birdy deliciousness. 

Remember when you visit the forest please bring sweetcorn, lettuce leaves or defrosted frozen peas for the birds on the lake as bread is not good for them. Have a fabulous winter birdwatching and we look forward to seeing you at the forest soon.

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