Who will be the Isle of Wight’s top bird this year?

By a County Press reporter

Saturday, January 26, 2013

 

Who will be the Isle of Wight’s top bird this year?

A Great Tit on an RSCB coconut feeder.

TWITCHERS will be out in force this weekend, taking part in one of the world’s biggest wildlife surveys.

The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, now in its 34th year, will take place today (Saturday) and tomorrow and anyone can grab a notepad and take part.

Last year, nearly 2,000 Islanders joined almost 600,000 people across the UK to spend an hour spotting and noting down the birds in their garden.

The charity has appealed for more people to take part this year to see how the extreme weather conditions have affected different species.

The RSPB’s Samantha Stokes said: "Our wildlife has had a pretty tough time recently. 2012 was a year of extreme weather, starting with a very dry winter and fears of drought but then we had 75 per cent more rainfall in April than average and the wettest June on record. With such a cold and wet breeding season, many of our garden favourites struggled to raise chicks last summer, so it will be interesting to see how their numbers are faring after a relatively mild winter.

"Everyone can get involved. You don’t have to be a birdwatcher — just enjoy watching the birds as they perch on branches, hang from feeders and swoop in and out of their nests in your garden. By taking part, you’ll contribute to the biggest garden bird event in the world and you won’t even have to leave the warmth of your armchair."

Last year’s Big Garden Birdwatch revealed the blue tit was the Island’s most common bird, followed by the house sparrow and the blackbird — will it be the same for 2013?

• For more information and to request a Big Garden Birdwatch pack, call 0300 456 8330 or visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch

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