Why I love the Big Garden Birdwatch

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Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 15.15.29I’ve written about the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch for the past six years, so it would seem odd not to do it this year (just because my ex-employer closed the website I worked on.)

And I’ll be taking part in it, too, as I have every year for the past six, except last year. Last year I was in Finland. Just for fun I kept a lookout as I ate breakfast, and I saw one magpie in the hotel grounds in an hour. It’s pretty cold 200km north of the Arctic Circle!

I love the mass participation idea of the Big Garden Birdwatch. And I love the idea that the nation is taking notice of everyday birds. As a travel writer (part of the time), I’ve seen some impressive birds in impressive locations: penguins in the Galapagos Islands (above), flamingos in France, puffins in Newfoundland, and red-whiskered bulbuls and weaver birds nesting in Mauritius (below). But I still love to see a robin sitting on my fence.

Perfect for commitment-phobes, Big Garden Birdwatch is one hour, once a year (this weekend, January 30-31 2016). And the RSPB couldn’t make it any easier, short of elbowing you out of your chair and seeing your birds for you. So do it – and don’t forget to send your results!

Update: just finished on Saturday morning, having seen: dunnock, two great tits, robin, two nuthatches, blue tit, wood pigeon, two coal tits, collared dove, blackbird.

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