As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday 29 January 2016

RSPB PRESS RELEASE: Stay in the Warm with the Big Garden Birdwatch

Stay in the warm with the Big Garden Birdwatch

RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch is set to bring families in Devon together as we uncover what is happening in the UK’s gardens in the world’s biggest wildlife survey

Families in Devon are being asked to spend just one hour watching the birds this weekend as Europe’s largest nature conservation charity takes its annual snapshot of the UK’s garden birds.

The RSPB wants to hear about the number and variety of birds visiting your Devon garden on Saturday and Sunday (30 and 31 January).

For almost forty years people have been taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, counting the birds in their garden to help the RSPB understand how our feathered friends are doing.

Last year over half a million people across the UK took part, making Big Garden Birdwatch the world’s biggest wildlife survey [note 2]. For the third year running, the RSPB is also asking about other wildlife seen in our gardens throughout the year, such as hedgehogs, foxes, stoats and squirrels, to help build an overall picture of how important gardens are for giving nature a home [note 3].
More than 8.5 million birds were spotted visiting our gardens with house sparrows topping the list, and some families reporting unusual species, such as skylarks, making an appearance outside their back doors.

Tom Waters in RSPB’s wildlife team said: “It really is as simple as spending an hour looking out of the window and enjoying seeing the wildlife that comes to you. You don’t need any special equipment, although if you take any photos we would love to see them. Then at the end of your hour send us your results to tell us what you saw.

“We have an online pack with everything you will need. There is even a handy guide to help you find out which bird is which, so you can tell a robin from a rook!”

If you would like to sign up, please visit You can also follow the action throughout the weekend by following @natures_voice on Twitter or using the #BigGardenBirdwatch

Tom added: “Every year we are amazed by how many people take part. It’s a really fun activity everyone can do and join in with. We love hearing how families come together to take part, as children and grandchildren discover the exciting natural world in their own back gardens.

“If you want to encourage more birds into your garden then why not put some food out –our website has some great advice on what birds love to eat. We have ideas on what you can make as well as a range of bird food and feeders you can buy online safe in the knowledge 100% of the profits will go to helping birds and wildlife.

The RSPB will share the non-bird results people spot in their gardens with Amphibian & Reptile Conservation (ARC), People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and The Mammal Society to add to their species databases. Results will help all the organisations involved build their understanding about the threats facing garden wildlife.

To find out more about how to Give Nature a Home in your garden visit And the RSPB shop is an excellent place to find bird food and other bits and pieces to encourage wildlife to visit and all profits go to helping birds and wildlife.


For further information and to arrange an interview, please contact:
Morwenna Alldis, Communications Officer, RSPB South West. Tel: 01392 453767

Follow @RSPBNews for the latest news

To download a selection of images relevant to this press release, please click on the hyperlink below and then enter the user name and password when prompted.

User Name:  garden          
Password:  birdwatch        
Broadcast-quality radio interviews:
To arrange an ISDN broadcast-quality radio interview please contact Katie Prewett at the RSPB press office.
Editor’s notes:
1.    The RSPB is the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.
  1. 2015 Big Garden Birdwatch results:

House sparrow
Blue tit
Great tit
Collared dove
Long tailed tit
Feral pigeon
Carrion crow
Coal tit
Common gull

  1. In 2014, as a new part of the Big Garden Birdwatch, the RSPB asked participants to tell us about some of the other animals in their garden including badgers, squirrels and hedgehogs. Slow worms and grass snakes joined the list in 2015 with foxes and stoats added to this year’s list. Participants don’t have to see and count these other species during the hour of the Big Garden Birdwatch survey. They just fill in the form to tell the RSPB how frequently they saw them in their gardens over the past year.
  2. Together, we can create even more homes for nature. To find out how you can give nature a home where you live visit:

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
The Lodge, Sandy, Beds SG19 2DL
Press office telephone: 01767 681577

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity.
In England and Wales, no: 207076.
In Scotland, no: SC037654.

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