Annual survey keeps a track of garden birds and wildlife

The house sparrow retained its position in last years Big Garden Birdwatch as the UKs most commonly spotted bird.

The house sparrow retained its position in last years Big Garden Birdwatch as the UKs most commonly spotted bird.

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Hundreds of people across Angus are expected to watch and count their garden birds for this year’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, which takes place at the end of this week.

The world’s largest garden wildlife survey, now in its 38th year, takes place on January 28, 29 and 30. Since it began it has provided valuable information about the wildlife using our gardens in winter.

For the first time people will also be able to take part on the Monday this year, extending the Birdwatch to three days. It is hoped this will allow even more people to spend an hour counting the birds in their park or garden, adding to the snapshot of how they are doing.

There will also be a special event at the Camperdown Wildlife Centre in Dundee this Saturday and Sunday (January 28 and 29) where people can brush up on their garden bird ID skills and to make a tasty treat to help encourage birds into their gardens. The event runs from 10am–3pm on both days.

Last year, across Scotland more than 36,000 people joined in counting 626,335 feathered visitors over the weekend.

In Angus last year, the top three spots were different from 2015; house sparrows remained top with starlings second, but blue tits replaced blackbirds in third spot knocking them out of the top three and down to fourth. Great tits, coal tits and long-tailed tits also rose through the rankings too. This reflected the UK results, with the long-tailed tit appearing in the top 10 for the first time in eight years

RSPB Scotland is also again asking participants to log other wildlife they see in their gardens and green spaces.

Daniel Hayhow, RSPB Conservation Scientist, said: “With over half a million people now regularly taking part, coupled with over 30 years worth of data, Big Garden Birdwatch allows us to monitor trends and helps us understand how birds are faring. With results from so many gardens, we are able to create a ‘snapshot’ of the birds visiting at this time of year across the UK. Even if you see nothing during your hour, that’s important information too, so please let us know.”