Pupils are wide-eyed for na­tional bird sur­vey

Macclesfield Express - - BIG BIRDWATCH - RHI­AN­NON MCDOWALL

SCHOOLS across the town have been do­ing their bit to help with a na­tional bird sur­vey.

Un­der the guid­ance of the Mac­cles­field RSPB Wildlife Ex­plor­ers, pri­mary school chil­dren took time out in their class­room to see which birds they can spot in their play­ground and record them for the na­tion­wide records.

It was or­gan­ised as part of the RSPB Big Schools Bird­watch, with chil­dren from nine pri­mary schools and two preschools tak­ing part in the two-week pro­gramme.

Chil­dren from Puss Bank School pro­vided the only sight­ing dur­ing the fort­night of a siskin – a small yel­low, striped finch – feed­ing on the alder trees near the in­fant class­rooms.

And ea­gle-eyed vol­un­teers were also able to point out a spar­rowhawk fly­ing over­head.

The first few min­utes bird­watch­ing at Prest­bury CE Pri­mary were a real treat, start­ing a great bird list with treecreeper and gold­crest.

Chil­dren also man­aged to add pheas­ant and mis­tle thrush to the list by the end of their ses­sions.

Ket­tleshulme St James Pri­mary School hosted their Bird­watch on a wild and windy af­ter­noon.

How­ever, pupils were still treated to some great close views of robins and blue tits in the hedges around the play­ground.

At the end of the Bird­watch fort­night Wildlife Ex­plor­ers also or­gan­ised two Big School Bird­watches at Vic­to­ria Park.

On sep­a­rate days, pupils from King’s Ju­nior Divi­sion and Hurds­field Pri­mary sur­veyed the birds in the park, both com­ing up with im­pres­sive bird lists that in­cluded goldfinch, gold­crest, nuthatch and treecreeper.

Tina Hanak, RSPB Wildlife Ex­plor­ers group leader, said: “En­thu­si­asm for the Bird­watch from chil­dren and staff this year has been bet­ter than ever. We have seen an in­cred­i­ble range of species.

“I think many pupils have been gen­uinely sur­prised by just how rich in wildlife their school grounds are when you take a closer look.

“The in­for­ma­tion we have col­lected in Cheshire will be used by the RSPB to cre­ate a snap­shot of the health of our na­tional bird pop­u­la­tions – it will help in­form im­por­tant con­ser­va­tion de­ci­sions for the fu­ture.”

For more about the Wildlife Ex­plor­ers, which runs a fan­tas­tic pro­gramme of na­ture events and ac­tiv­i­ties for chil­dren, teenagers and fam­i­lies, go to mac­cles­fiel­dr­spb.org. uk.

Su­san Wil­son

●● Ket­tleshulme St James

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