Friday, 25 January 2008

Big Garden Birdwatch

RobinThis weekend, the whole of the United Kingdom is being urged to spend an hour birdwatching - and we don't even have to leave our chairs! Every year for over 30 years the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has organised a garden bird survey to assess how well birds are doing in our towns and cities. In that hour they want us to watch or own gardens and to only count the highest number of birds we see at any one time. (They don't want us to count one blue tit going back into our gardens ten times!) And if you can birdwatch your garden from the same place where you sit and watch our peregrine webcam, you can even submit your results online without moving a muscle!
OK, armchair birdwatching doesn't get us very fit, but it certainly helps show us how fit British gardens are for wild birds to use. Follow this link for more information on the Garden Birdwatch

In Derby on Saturday you can come along to the Market Square for the "Garden Bird Bonanza" where there's lots of family fun and bird activities. Help us do one thing for garden birds. Come along for free bird feeders, mask making and wildlife gardening tips. Visit the BBC Bus, or make yourself a free bird box, go on a bird walk (12 noon and 2pm) . The Museums will be there, and you can colour and cut out a peregrine hat or meet the folks from the RSPB who can tell you so much more about watching birds in your area. It's on from 11-3pm, and isn't too far a stroll from Derby Museum & Art Gallery, or our peregrines at Derby Cathedral, or indeed from all the other town-centre entertainments. (And you may even catch our peregrines on the Big Screen)

Remember, there's not much time left for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere to clean out our bird boxes of old nest materials or other remains of last year's nesting season. You could even install your own nest and camera to watch your birds in intimate detail, provided you remember that the birds come first, and that watching them comes second.

Good bird-watching!


Ash said...

To clean a bird box..just hot water and a scrub? No chemical cleaners?

Pax said...

Pax B.C. 12.11a.m.
exciting news aboutthe new Cam.
I can see this years falcon seson is going to be even better, cant wait for it to start. :-)

Project Member (DWT) said...

Any detergent or household cleaner is fine provided you make sure the inside of the box is dry before you re-assemble it. Various nest parasites lurk in boxes from one year to the next so it is well worth giving them a good scouring!
We have great and blue tits, house sparrows and the occasional robin in our garden boxes most years plus, of course, a pair of delightful spotted flycatchers last summer.
Incidentally, if you feed birds regularly in your garden, why not take part in the British Trust for Ornithology's Garden BirdWatch which gets you recording every week of the year?
Search for BTO Garden Birdwatch and you'll get the details.
Nick B

Anonymous said...

I didn't have time to watch my garden birds in any sort of organised fashion (all the usual suspects, and as I live near water, swans, mallards, mandarin ducks, little grebe, moorhens which is a little unusual for gardens, I guess ....) but I'm BURSTING to tell somebody I FINALLY SAW THE "AYLESBURY TWO" peregrines!!! I now consider Aylesbury to be good enough to be
considered the official twin of wonderful Derby. I didn't get a good enough view to establish if the famale had any red tags, but can't help wondering where our young pair have come from.
Hope all is going well with everyone concerned with the project, either running it or, like me, watching it!
Love, Sue H from Wendover, Bucks

Project Member (DWT) said...

Hi Sue: yes both Nick's are well thanks and Tony at the cathedral is coping well with a difficult period while the cathedral is one verger short of the three they need.
Nick M has been busy preparing the pud cam and getting ready to abseil down to re-adjust the cameras and clean the platform. Nick B has begun to plan the summer watchpoint programme, booking the green and seeking volunteers to help out.
So, as February goes along, we can expect the peregrines to start displaying quite soon.
Both Nicks have been liaising with a local film company who plan to produce a DVD on our birds (more about this soon) we're certainly beginning to gear up for the breeding season.
Good luck to your birds in Aylesbury!
Nick B