Environment

Keep an eye on the garden birds this winter

By Sarah Edwards at

Regular readers of www.bicestertoday.news may know that we run your hyperlocal website from a garden office. Although in many ways, Bicester Today HQ is just a posh shed, it is incredibly warm and cosy and the great temptation is to turn the heating up, make yet another cup of tea and hibernate.
From the warmth of our office we do get to see quite a few garden birds coming and going and taking advantage of bird feeders that we have tried to strategically position for us to get the best view!
Well this weekend it is the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch 2017 and there’s still plenty of time for you to get involved and enjoy the wildlife in your garden.
Big Garden Birdwatch is a chance for everyone to help nature by donating one hour during this coming weekend, to count the birds and other wildlife in your gardens. The data gathered from this survey provides a vital health-check of the wildlife that makes its home there.
In 2016 around half a million people counted the feathered friends in their patch. To take part this year, just visit the Birdwatch website www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch to register for free and spend one hour counting the birds you see at any time during 28, 29 or 30 January. You can use the handy online bird counting tool on the website to identify and record the birds as you see them directly on your laptop, tablet or smartphone.
As temperatures drop, the natural food available for wildlife becomes scarcer so birds are more likely to visit gardens in the hope of supplementing their diets. The RSPB recommends providing a mix of food sources like seeds, peanuts, sunflower hearts and suet balls to help them keep their energy up. Kitchen leftovers like mild grated cheese, cold potatoes, apples and pastry scraps will also go down a treat.
For more hints and tips on giving nature a home where you live, head to www.rspb.org.uk/plan.
If you take any great photos of the wildlife in your garden this weekend, or while you are out enjoying the Oxfordshire countryside, then please send them to us bicester@hyperlocaltoday.co.uk or share them on social media using the hashtag #hyperlocalweekendwalks

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