Take part in RSPB’s annual survey of garden birds

LETTER OF THE DAY: I could have easily dodged the train fare

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BIRD-LOVERS are urged to take part in the RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch.

The charity is hoping that more people than ever will take part in this year’s event, which helps record the fortunes of birds – especially given the mild winter conditions so far.

Last year, a record-breaking 24,254 residents in Hampshire got involved spotting the birds in their garden over an hour.

Their figures showed that blue tits were the county’s most common bird, followed by house sparrows and blackbirds.

Samantha Stokes, of the RSPB South East, said: ‘Because this survey takes place each January, it’s always interesting to compare results, especially if we’ve had a particularly harsh or mild winter.

‘As well as helping us track the ups and downs of garden birds, if you take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch you’ll have the perfect excuse to sit down with a cuppa and enjoy the wildlife living alongside you.

‘Everyone can get involved. You don’t have to be a birdwatcher – just enjoy watching the birds as they perch on branches, hang from feeders and swoop in and out of their nests in your garden.

‘By taking part, you’ll contribute to the biggest garden bird event in the world and you won’t even have to leave the warmth of your armchair.’

Big Garden Birdwatch is one of the first indicators to show how well UK birds have fared during the previous breeding season and winter.

With over 500,000 people across the UK taking part each year and over 30 years worth of data the results give an early indication of garden bird trends.

The Big Garden Birdwatch takes place on January 28 and 29. See rspb.org.uk/birdwatch or call 0300 456 8330 if you want more details.