Get set for the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch

BIRDWATCHING: A family spot a robin during the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch. This year's event takes place this weekend, January 30 to 31. Picture: Ben Hall (rspb-images.com)
BIRDWATCHING: A family spot a robin during the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch. This year's event takes place this weekend, January 30 to 31. Picture: Ben Hall (rspb-images.com)

More than half a million people are expected to participate in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend.

Many Wakefield households are primed to take part and three of the best places to watch birds in the district are staging events.

A blue tit. Picture: Ray Kennedy (rspb-images.com)

A blue tit. Picture: Ray Kennedy (rspb-images.com)

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Anglers Country Park and the RSPB’s Fairburn Ings reserve are all hosting sessions.

Anglers, in Wintersett, is hosting a free event tomorrow (Saturday).

RSPB Wakefield local group are running the event between 9am and 1pm. There will be a guided birdwatching walk around the park from 9am to noon and a recording session at the feeding station for the final hour.

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is also taking part in the project.

A wren. Picture: John Bridges (rspb-images.com)

A wren. Picture: John Bridges (rspb-images.com)

RSPB staff will be at the West Bretton tourist attraction this Saturday and Sunday. They will give visitors information on how to participate in the birdwatch and also on how to attract wildlife to their own garden. The event is free but usual car parking fees apply.

Fairburn Ings, on Newton Lane, Ledston is hosting an event where you can make your own log feeder. The event runs between 10am and 3pm tomorrow and Sunday.

Staff and volunteers will show you how to make one, give advice on feeding the birds and tell how you can take part in Big Garden Birdwatch 2016.

Wildlife advisor Kate Whitehead, from the RSPB’s Denby Dale office, said: “Whether it’s the first time you are taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, or you’re already an expert, it’s great fun and simple to do.

“All you need to do is spend an hour over this weekend, count the birds in your garden and tell us what you see. It’s a fantastic way to discover the wildlife on your doorstep and it really helps the RSPB to gain a vital snapshot of garden bird numbers in winter and highlight any dramatic declines.

“We also want to know about some of the wildlife which snuffles and settles in your garden too, such as hedgehogs, badgers and grey squirrels, so we can create a picture of how important our gardens are for providing homes for nature.

“I look forward to this event every year. It’s a great feeling to be part of the world’s biggest garden wildlife survey – without having to leave my sofa!”

For almost forty years, the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch has helped raise awareness of those species in decline like starlings and song thrushes. Their numbers have dropped by an alarming 80 and 70 per cent respectively since the birdwatch began in 1979.

To find out more and to download a free pack visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch