Kids take class outdoors
STUDENTS from schools across the town left the warmth of their classrooms to take part in the RSPB’s Big Schools’ Birdwatch.
It is a national scheme organised by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds to track different species across the UK and encourage more youngsters to take an interest in our feathered friends.
Experts from the RSPB were on hand at all the schools to lend binoculars and spotting scopes, as well as explain which type of birds the children were spotting.
In the first week of the scheme children from Hurdsfield Primary School, Kettleshulme St James, Prestbury CE Primary School, Bosley St Mary’s and Bobkins Nurs- ery have all been counting the birds in their school grounds, with pupils from Hurdsfield heading to Victoria Park.
Last year, the blackbird topped the Big Schools’ Birdwatch list for the sixth year running, with starlings coming in second place and seen in half of schools, despite being a species in severe decline nationally.
Results showed that of the top 25 birds species recorded in the latest survey, 19 of these were reported at lower numbers compared to the previous year.
Last year’s mild winter might explain why birds weren’t having to rely on gardens and schools grounds to feed. They probably had an easier time than experienced during 2013’s very cold and snowy Big Schools’ Birdwatch.
Tina Hanak, a group leader for the Macclesfield RSPB Young Explorers, said: “Each year more and more schools get involved in the Big Schools’ Birdwatch.
“It is a fabulous activity that encourages children to make real connections to nature.
“We are hoping the enthusiasm we witness first-hand in school yards will translate into even more people taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch at the end of the month.”
Find more information about local RSPB activities for young people on the website at www.macclesfieldrspb. org.uk.
Top and above: Children from Kettleshulme Primary School identify the different species of birds; left, students from Prestbury Primary School use the chart to spot the different birds; far left, students at Bosley St Mary’s gather to count 185 Canada geese; above left, pupils from Hurdsfield also donned the binoculars to get a better view of the garden birds