The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch – why I’m taking part this year

Birdwatching – like sherry and The Archers – is something I’m growing into as I get older. I love watching the birds visit our garden, but I’ve always been pretty terrible at identifying them. I’m ashamed to say I don’t know a Greenfinch from a Bullfinch, and I can’t tell my Tits apart…

But this year, that’s all going to change, starting with the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, which takes place from 26th to 28th January. I’m slightly anxious that no birds whatsoever will visit our garden next weekend. But I’ve downloaded the form, filled up the bird feeders and I’m ready to go!

I found the RSPB’s website a bit tricky to navigate, and had to sidestep a couple of attempts to sell me membership and hedgehog doorstops. Apart from that it’s pretty straightforward: you spend one hour during the weekend spotting birds in your garden, and tick them off from a list of common garden birds.

If you’d like to join me, scroll down for photos of the birds on the Big Garden Birdwatch list so we know what to look out for. For some birds, the males and females are different, and might be mistaken for another species, so in these cases I’ve added photos of both males and females.

Here’s a link to the Big Garden Birdwatch form. You can either print off the form and post it, or complete the survey online when it’s put on the RSPB website next weekend.

Over the course of this year, I hope to make our garden more welcoming to birds and other wildlife. I’ll be posting ideas and tips about this in the coming months – please subscribe to the website or ‘like’ the Facebook page if you’d like to find out more or share your own hints and experiences.

I have to go now – it’s time for The Archers. And where’s my Harvey’s Bristol Cream?

Image credit: Blue Tit (Cyanistes caerulescens), Cottenham Park
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Mike Pennington –

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