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RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch Top 5!

I hope you're having a great start to the year! Thank you so much for all your support over the past year! My just giving page is now closed. Thanks to your generosity we have raised a fantastic £1,659!! The final wildlife tally came to 410 species in all! Birds 57, Bees, Wasps and Ants 29, Butterflies 13, Moths 208, Other Insects, 66, Arachnids 16, Other Invertebrates 16, Amphibians 1, and Mammals 4! We may do something similar again this year but a slightly more relaxed version. We have learnt so much from this project and it has opened my eyes once again to how amazing God's creation is!

As some of you have seen my dad and I have been featured in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch advert for the past few years now, which is quite a strange and cool experience. I also got to meet Chris Packham when they did the filming which was great as he is a bit of a hero of mine! If that was not exciting enough today we have also been featured again in Daily Express! I think feeding the birds is one of life's great joys so if you have never fed the birds in your garden before there is no better time to start. There are some great resources online, but to start you off I would advise a variety of feeders and food. This will attract a wider number of species to your garden. With that in mind I thought I would give 5 top tips to prepare for this weekends birdwatch:

  1. Bird Food - Your most important consideration is of course what food to put out! A seed mix is a good place to start with on a bird table or feeder. The next thing would be fat balls, which is great for long-tailed tits for example. There's also a great many single foods available. Probably the best to go for would be, nyger seed, sunflower seeds whole/hearts, peanuts (must be unsalted), and dried mealworms. If you can do even one of those things you will have a good chance of attracting more birds to your garden. My other tip is to put out halved apples on the ground or bird table/tray feeders as this can attracted winter visitors like blackcaps and fieldfares.

  2. Feeders - You will definitely need the right type of feeder for the right food type. A standard seed feeder and a fat ball feeder is probably a good starting point. Nyger seed will also need a special feeder as do peanuts too. You can even get mealworm feeders, but I find it is just as easy to spread them on the ground or a tray. Bird tables are another alternative and can allow you to mix things up a bit. I would probably not go for a squirrel proof feeder personally unless you have a real problem. They rarely work anyway as YouTube will testify and they are still wild animals with great character. Don't forget to put food on the ground for ground feeding birds like dunnocks and chaffinches.

  3. Positioning Your Feeders - This may not seem important, but it can make all the difference in seeing more birds in the garden. Try to position your feeders near to cover like trees, hedges and bushes to help the birds feel safe. I think this explains why some people only seem to see larger birds like pigeons on their feeders as they tend to be less wary than many smaller birds.

  4. Have Fun - Above all just enjoy taking the opportunity to slow down and relax for an hour with your refreshments of choice. I think we all need a bit of nature therapy from time to time especially in our present times. The Big Garden Birdwatch is also a great way to get kids involved and alive to the world around them. It may even spark a life long passion for the natural world.

  5. Send In Your Sightings - Once the hour is up send in your sightings on the RSPB website, which is very straight forward you just have to answer some questions and tick the birds you spotted. Alternatively you can post your sightings using the chart if you received a Big Garden Birdwatch pack. Remember even if you see nothing at all still send in a result because it could show an important trend in the survey and is still a useful contribution.

I hope you have a great weekend bird spotting and please do let me know what you saw I would love to hear from you! This year our main focus turns to our place in Norfolk as we are transforming our garden there into as close to a nature reserve as possible so plenty more posts to come.

Here's a still from the ad of Dad and I!

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