Poole Town Ur­ban Bird­ing Walks

Dorset - - Birdwatching In Dorset -

are in sharp de­cline, in­flu­enced heav­ily by a dis­ease that is trans­mit­ted be­tween in­di­vid­u­als by shar­ing feed­ers. Please make sure you clean your feed­ers reg­u­larly.

Many of our gar­den vis­i­tors are strug­gling with loss of habi­tat and food sup­ply, ad­verse weather and non-na­tive preda­tors - cats! Dur­ing the win­ter months, each day is a dan­ger­ous bal­ance be­tween avoid­ing preda­tors, stay­ing warm, look­ing for food and in some cases, de­fend­ing ter­ri­tory by singing. The lat­ter is very costly and can burn fat re­serves that are vi­tal for overnight sur­vival – it’s im­por­tant that birds are sen­si­ble about when to keep sch­tum!

If you want to en­cour­age birds onto your feed­ers sun­flower hearts are the king of seeds, prov­ing more pop­u­lar and at­tract­ing more species than niger seeds. Like all wild an­i­mals, birds need to be as en­er­get­i­cally ef­fi­cient as pos­si­ble. They don’t need to get through a shell to get to the fat and nutri­ent rich sun­flower seed in­side so they’ll pri­ori­tise this easy food source over other of­fer­ings. If the weather gets par­tic­u­larly cold, as it did in early 2018, put out some ap­ples for win­ter thrushes such as red­wing and field­fare to feed on, and make sure that you have ice-free wa­ter avail­able for all your feath­ered vis­i­tors.

For those of you with­out gar­dens or feed­ers of your own, there are some great pub­lic feed­ers set up at RSPB Arne car park and tearoom; Holton Lee and Up­ton Coun­try Park. You can even en­joy our Holton Lee feeder-cam from the com­fort of your own home by watch­ing the live stream on the Birds of Poole Har­bour web­site bird­sof­poole­har­bour.co.uk/ feeder-we­b­cam.

GET IN­VOLVED IN THE BIG GAR­DEN BIRD­WATCH...

Reg­is­tra­tion opens on 12 De­cem­ber and the count will be tak­ing place from 26 -28 Jan­uary. All you have to do is watch and note down the birds that visit your gar­den or lo­cal park over one hour. Sign up at rspb.org.uk. Join us on our new Thurs­day morn­ing bird­ing tour in the heart of town. Meet at Birds of Poole Har­bour HQ on Poole Quay from 9.30am on­wards, we de­part promptly at 10am (runs un­til 12.30pm). Stroll across Quay­side, through Baiter Park and around Poole Park to ex­plore the lo­cal ur­ban birdlife such as king­fisher, gold­eneye, turn­stone and ringed plover. No need to book, sim­ply pay £3 per per­son on ar­rival. Dates: 3, 10,17, 24, 31 Jan­uary.

Find out more at bird­sof­poole­har­bour.co.uk

‘Note down the birds that visit your gar­den or lo­cal parkover one hour’A male chaffinch

The bold pinky red colours pf the bullfinch

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