RESIDENTS are being urged to take part in the annual Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend.
Last year more than 6,000 people across Worcestershire took time out in a bid to find which of their feathered friends graced the county the most.
And it is hoped this year even more will spend an hour counting and recording the different species of bird which land in their gardens or in other areas near their homes either tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday (January 25).
This will be the 36th year the event – organised by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) – has been held.
County resident Patrick Jones has been taking part in it since it began and is urging others to do the same.
“I have carried out the survey every year since its introduction in 1978 and it is surprising how the birds always seem to disappear for that vital hour.
“On the other hand it is amazing what does turn up, like the one and only time I spotted a jay in my garden.
“It does show what an important habitat we all have on our doorsteps and the need to give a home to our garden wildlife.
“It’s a very interesting survey and, apart of giving the RSPB vital information, it is a great activity for all ages, staying quiet for an hour seeing what is going on in your garden can be very rewarding.” he added.
Last year, the house sparrow was the most popular bird in Worcestershire gardens, followed by the blue tit and blackbird.
Although it is called The Big Garden Birdwatch, participants are also urged to record other animals they see in their gardens, such as butterflies, squirrels and foxes.
Visit rspb.org.uk/birdwatch for more information on the birdwatch and to register online.
The page also features hints and tips for making gardens more wildlife-friendly, along with creative activities, such as creating home-made bird-feeders and cakes to entice our feathered friends to our plots.
* THE BIG Schools’ Birdwatch, which enables youngsters and their classes to get closer to nature, is also under way.
The project, which began on January 5 and runs until February 13, will help the RSPB see which species of birds and other wildlife are frequenting school grounds across the county.
Visit www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/discoverandlearn/schoolswatch/ for more information on The Big Schools’ Birdwatch and resources to help with the count, They have been designed for different age categories, including under fives, five to 11 and 11 and older.
The Big Schools Birdwatch can also be adopted for other groups, such as brownies and cubs.
The blackbird was also popular last year. Picture by Ray Kennedy (rspb-images.com)
The blue tit fared well last year. Picture by Ray Kennedy (rspb-images.com)