Eyes to the skies for birdwatch

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Countryfile -

Kent res­i­dents are be­ing en­cour­aged to take part in the RSPB’s an­nual Big Gar­den Birdwatch (BGBW).

In 2013, the big­gest gar­den wildlife sur­vey in the world saw al­most 600,000 peo­ple across the UK count the birds in their gar­den.

This year, for the first time, peo­ple can use their mo­biles and tablets to take part.

It’s hoped the sur­vey, tak­ing place this Satur­day and Sun­day, will show a drop in the de­cline of gar­den favourites.

Star­lings hit an all-time low in the 2012 BGBW but their num­bers sunk by a fur­ther 16% last year. House spar­rows, which are of high con­ser­va­tion con­cern, dropped by 17% com­pared to 2012, while bullfinches and dun­nocks fell by 20% and 13% re­spec­tively.

BGBW, which has been run­ning for 35 years, pro­vides the RSPB with masses of in­for­ma­tion about changes in gar­den bird num­bers in win­ter, and helps to alert con­ser­va­tion­ists to sig­nif­i­cant de­clines in UK gar­den species.

Schools are also get­ting in­volved with a spe­cial Big Schools’ Birdwatch (BSBW) tak­ing place un­til Fe­bru­ary 14.

Visit www.rspb.org.uk/ birdwatch and for BSBW go to www.rspb.org.uk/school­swatch

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