Thursday, January 26

You may be interested in ...

There are a couple of things coming up that you may be interested in joining in with.
The first is this weekend's Big Garden Bird Watch.
This is hosted by the RSPB every year and we have taken part for quite a few years now. 

Our birds seem to know that it is going on and as a result keep their heads down and mutter "You're not counting mean" I'd say twitter but nowadays that conjures up a completely different idea. I think the general bird brain idea is that if we don't count many we'll all worry that numbers are falling and we'll put them on a at danger list and pop out far more food. Clever things these birds. We had a female bull finch eyeing up out new mahonia flowers yesterday but I doubt that she'll show her beak this weekend!

I know that you are thinking it's our imagination but why do the feeders not go down as quickly? It isn't that we are more in evidence, we just watch from the same place as we always do - inside the house.

By the way if you live in the USA they have a bird counting event too which this year is February 17 - 20. I guess other countries also have something similar.

There's also a version for schools to take part in

It's already been going on for a few days but there's still time to have a go. I know of some schools who take part every year. When the results had to be emailed in I know of one headteachers who used to complain that his school's email filtering made it fairly difficult to send in his information and had to resort to listing blue thingies and great thingies to get round it!

If you do work with children or are a parent of a primary age child you may also be interested in a competition being launched by Spotty Green Frog a company that supply primary schools with amongst other things starter kits of gardening tools. They are offering £100 prize to spend on equipment for schools - visit my School Vegetable Patch blog to read more. You don't have to enter as a school, children can enter as individuals too with a prize for the winning child as well as the prize for the school.


  1. I'm hoping that I can find a spare hour to watch the birds, though I've noticed them missing all week. I put out some suet blocks at the weekend and they've hardly been touched.

  2. my Father does this every year this year he has got my 2 Daughters involved in it, he has brought them a pair of binoculars (just a cheap pair)for them to use they are very much looking foward to it the are only 7&3 but cant wait.
    I shall also be participating for the first time this year.
    happy spotting!

  3. They are preparing for it early then Jo, If the bad weather that is predicted materialise then maybe they will have to come out of hiding!

    It's great to get children involved Stacy - when I was a primary teacher I was amazed at how many of my 11 year olds just couldn't identify the most common garden birds - in fact had never even noticed them. Then again one of our cleaners thought a wagtail was a baby magpie!

  4. Some great tips there....especially about the schools. I will let my school know tomorrow...they may be interested.

  5. It's so wonderful that kids are being encouraged to watch and look out for birds! I was encouraged to identify animal tracks and scats (droppings) as a child and I absolutely think it helped with logical thinking, patience and curiosity about the natural world.

    I saw a very strange scat in my backyard last week, only to find out that it was from a Powerful Owl which is Australia's largest Hawk Owl that is on the endangered list!!! Its living in my neighbours large elm tree, and I finally spotted it last nigh. I can safely say my interest came from the encouragement I had as a child.

  6. Thanks for the reminder Sue. I watch birds every day, but each year manage to forget to participate in this.

  7. It seems a worthwhile prize Tanya as there are lots of other things that schools can use the prize money for as well as gardening things.

    Children are naturally interested in wildlife, Phoebe if only someone gives them some encouragement. I hope your hens are safe from the owl! What it scat of a pellet you found?

    Just counted four male blackbirds, BW, just about tolerating one another - obviously they are stocking up so they don't have to pay a weekend visit


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