Getting Ready for the Big Garden Birdwatch

"I would like to paint the way a bird sings"  Claude Monet

This weekend (27 - 29th January 2023) is the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch and a chance for everyone to try their hand at a citizen science project. Find a comfortable spot, indoors or out, where you have a good view of your garden or, at least, that part of the garden where the birds usually visit. If you have a birdfeeder then make sure it is topped up (it is a good idea to put the food out a few days beforehand so the birds are aware of it if you are not a regular feeder). Make a mug of your favourite beverage and, perhaps, a few treats. as you will be observing for one hour. Keep a bird identification guide handy for common and rarer visitors.

Although not essential, birdwatching/identification is easier and more satisfying with a set of binoculars.

Figure 1: Hers and His

Unless you have a very large garden, a cheap set of bins is good enough but you can still take part even without these. Keep your phone or camera handy; even a blurred photo may help with identification and you might just snap the picture that wins the Wildlife Photographer of the Year prize.

We have a small trail camera for observing wildlife, mainly birds, in the garden. Today, I made sure it had fresh batteries and was located near to the birdfeeder.

Figure 2: Trail Cam and Birdfeeder

Here's hoping for some decent close-up shots.

Figure 3: View from the Trail Cam

In the background of Figure 2, you might just spot our CCTV camera. This will be trained on the cherry tree and birdfeeder for some wider-angled shots.

Let's hope for good weather and for the local cats to stay away. We will probably do a couple of one-hour sessions - morning and afternoon.


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