Are you ready to take part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch in January?
With binoculars at the ready and bird feeders filled, brighterkind care homes will be joining in the world’s largest wildlife survey in January 2019.
The Big Garden Birdwatch is the world's largest wildlife survey and joining in with it is simple and enjoyable - and a great excuse to watch your garden birds. The day offers a great opportunity to look at what is happening in your garden and to connect with your local RSPB, organisations or schools. The RSPB initiative, the Big Garden Birdwatch encourages children and adults to get closer to nature and participate in the UKs biggest bird survey by counting the different birds that visit the garden in any one hour during the weekend. The survey also includes other wildlife including badgers and hedgehogs.
Birdwatching has lots of benefits for adults and kids including lowering anxiety and providing lots of sensory stimulation. Bird watching can also be a valuable reminiscence activity, with some birds evoking memories of time spent in the garden or in local beauty spots. The brighterkind care homes are looking forward to participating in the Big Garden Birdwatch.
The RSPB website has lots of resources and ideas:
http:www.rspb.org.uk the site includes a guide to birds, your Birdwatch survey and how to find a local group near you.
Ideas to get the most out of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch
1.Kick off activities with a special visit
Kick off activities with a special visit from pupils at your local Primary School or join with Girl Guides from your local Brownies. Ask them to join residents in the week leading up to the birdwatch to make fat balls and paint bird boxes in order to attract more wildlife to the care home garden. See if they can also return to your care home to the join the residents for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch weekend.
2. Do you know your birdsong?
Do you know how to identify a chaffinch from a robin by their song? Listen to birdsong on the
Birdsong for beginners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8-dOm7-WEI
Have a listen to Birdsong FM radio (who knew!) https://www.birdsong.fm/
Find out why birdsong is important from The British Library: https://www.bl.uk/the-language-of-birds/articles/the-purpose-of-birdsong
Woodland Trust guide to common bird songs: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2017/04/identifying-bird-songs/
“Staying active and enjoying outdoors, even if it is a little chilly can be extremely beneficial for our residents from a social and wellbeing perspective. As a team, we are actively seeking opportunities to help residents make the most of fresh air opportunities and to incorporate these into our daily Magic Moments activity programme" - Sally Harrison, Head of Product Development for brighterkind.
3. Create a springtime planting plan
Start a garden plan for planting to attract birds and other wildlife. The survey isn't just about birds, it also includes hedgehogs and other mini beasts.
More ideas, including some fat ball recipes to attract birds can be found on our pinterest board:
brighterkind's Big Garden Birdwatch Pinterest Board: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/brighterkindActivities/big-garden-birdwatch/