Every year, the RSPB not only organise a big event called the ‘Big Garden Birdwatch’, but they also do a version for schools too. In a one hour period, you are asked to log all the aspecies of bird you see and the maximum number you see at any one time. Results are then submitted to the RSPB and all the results are collated. It is one of the largest public surveys and the results give valuable insights into the populations in our gardens and schools.
I had already created a display area in school and also did an assembly to introduce the birdwatch to the pupils. We also watched my live cameras up in assembly to see what species we could see visiting. The RSPB had produced an excellent assembly pack, which I used part of to help the children understand why taking part is so important.
I have a number of binoculars that I have had donated by Bushnell for use in school and combined with my 2 pairs and some school ones, we had enough for 8 children at a time to take part. Taking 8 children from each year group at a time, we spent an hour in the grounds looking for bird visitors. From the fields, to playgrounds, trees, hedges and back to the impressive array of feeders that we watched from the warmth of the staffroom, we watched, listened and logged all the species we saw onto the RSPB logging sheets.
The children were all highly enthusiastic and keen to learn how to recognise the species we are most likely to see around school and we all thoroughly enjoyed our time. All our photos can be seen on our main website HERE.
We managed an impressive list, but the highlight for me was a mistle thrush on the school field.
Blue tit (4)
Great tit (2)
Coal tit (1)
Carrion crow (3)
Mistle thrush!!!!!!! (1)
Black headed gull (35)
Herring gull (2)
Wood pigeon (4)
Pied wagtail (1)
A big thank you to all the very enthusiastic budding ornithologists who took part…. this is just the beginning!