RSPB urges locals to watch the birdies

Only for use in Big Schools Bird watch press release. Common Blackbird Turdus merula male perched on a garden lawn
Only for use in Big Schools Bird watch press release. Common Blackbird Turdus merula male perched on a garden lawn

RSPB SCOTLAND is appealing to people from all across Aberdeenshire to take part in the charity’s ‘Big Garden Birdwatch’, in a bid to make this year’s event the biggest ever.

Last year’s survey saw over 45,000 Scots taking part, each spending one hour counting the birds that visited their gardens and parks.

The most common garden visitor in Aberdeenshire was the house sparrow, with an average of six spotted at any one time. Second and third most common were the chaffinch and starling, followed by the blackbird and blue tit in forth and fifth place.

This year, the conservation charity is keen to see if 2011’s mixed weather will have had any impact on garden bird numbers.Gale force winds during the breeding season in May raised concerns for some species when nests were blown from trees, eggs were destroyed and young perished.

Louise Smith of RSPB Scotland said: “The Big Garden Birdwatch is a fun and easy way to learn more about the wildlife in your garden, whilst at the same contributing to an important piece of citizen science. It’s open to everyone regardless of age or experience, and you don’t even need to have a garden, you can head or your local park or nature reserve instead.”

“It will be interesting to see what, if any, impact the heavy winds we experienced in the Spring and the recent mild winter weather may have had on our garden birds. As always, we will be keeping a watchful eye on all results so the more entries we have, the better chance we have of spotting any worrying trends.”

On 27th and 28th January, RSPB Scotland staff will be at Dobbies Garden Centre in Aberdeen offering top tips on wild bird care and answering all your Big Garden Birdwatch queries.