Watch the birdie
IS now the season for bird-watching: two initiatives, the RSPB’S Big Garden Birdwatch (January 28–30) and GWCT’S Big Farmland Bird Count (February 3–12), encourage the public to take note of the species spotted in their area, providing data that proves invaluable to the survival of many birds.
Last year, the RSPB was sad to report a decline in starlings and song thrushes, but the longtailed tit flew into the top 10 for the first time in eight years, with an increase in sightings of 44%. Turtle doves, which have suffered a 93% UK population decline since 1994, have been given a boost, thanks to a new patch of land in Kent for breeding, donated by RSPB members. However, it has already been reported by the BTO that blue tits are missing from our gardens this winter, after a washout summer. Visit www.rspb.org.uk and www.gwct.org.uk to sign up.
Data shows that the blue tit is declining