Around half a million people from across the UK are set to take part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch by counting the birds in their gardens over the weekend of 27-29 January 2018. They’ll also make a record of the other wildlife they see throughout the year, providing a vital snapshot of UK nature.
The largest wildlife survey in the world, the Big Garden Birdwatch has been running for over 30 years, and last year about 500,000 people took part and over 8 million birds were counted. The House Sparrow was the commonest bird in last year’s count for the second year running, averaging over 4 sparrows per garden, with Starling second and Blackbird third. The most widespread bird was the Blackbird (see photo above), recorded in over 93% of gardens where counts took place.
In London, the Woodpigeon was the commonest bird, with an average of 2.8 per garden. The House Sparrow was second, perhaps surprisingly considering its well-publicised decline in the city. Starling was third, followed by Blue Tit and Blackbird. The Robin was most widespread, being seen in 86% of gardens. You can see the full 2017 results on the RSPB website.
To join in, all you need to do is to count birds in your garden or local park for one hour on 30 or 31 January. Record the highest number of each species that you see at one time and send in the results to the RSPB. You can submit your counts online or send them in on paper. See the RSPB website for full details of how to take part.
Photo: Tom Speller