The latest blog article has been written by Dan Pilkington, a full time volunteer ranger who has been working with the ranger team at Lyme Park since September.
This coming weekend is an important date on the RSPB calendar and provides the opportunity for anyone keen and interested to contribute to the world’s largest wildlife survey. Now in its 35th year the Big Garden Birdwatch allows the RSPB to investigate trends in the numbers of garden birds and determine which UK bird species are doing well and which are struggling. The importance of the data collected cannot be overstated as bird populations are fantastic indicators of how healthy our countryside is. This year the RSPB is also particularly keen for people to record the other wildlife which frequents our gardens and local parks, including hedgehogs, badgers, frogs and toads.
|Spot the difference...Blue tit (top) and Great tit (bottom)|
As a warm-up to the RSPB’s official date this weekend I spent a quiet hour at lunch-time in the gardens sat on a tree stump with my bird guide, binoculars and sandwiches, scanning the shrubs and trees for potential activity. The most prominent birds I recorded in the garden were several blue tits and great tits which kept darting from tree to tree and also a particularly curious nuthatch which seemed to be oblivious to my presence as it searched the canopy above me for insects hidden in the bark.
I also managed to spot a robin and blackbird foraging beneath the rhododendron and at one point heard a pair of jays squabbling in thee trees behind me. I have heard that bullfinch have recently been seen in the garden but unfortunately didn't spot any on this occasion.
For more information on the upcoming Big Garden Bird Watch and how to take part visit: https://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch/ Once you’ve registered online you can also download a useful guide to help with your own survey.
If you'd like to get involved, it's perfectly fine to carry out your birdwatch in "your local green space", so if that's Lyme Park, why not carry out the garden birdwatch here? We'd be really interested to hear how you get on.
Birds of note sighted in the park in the last month include green woodpecker near Kennel Wood, barn owl on Cater's Slack, woodcock, kestrel, buzzard, flocks of redwing in Crow Wood, and several pairs of goosander on the Mill Pond. Let us know if you see anything while you're out and about!