Alex Mayer MEP grabbed a pair of binoculars to kick start the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch.
Ms. Mayer is calling for birdwatchers young and old across the East of England to become ‘citizen scientists’ with their eyes keenly trained on their back gardens and bird boxes, to record the number and type of feathery visitors their garden receives over the weekend and send the details to the RSPB.
The Big Garden Birdwatch is the largest wildlife survey in the world, and attracts almost half a million participants year on year. The results are processed by the RSPB, and used to show bird distributions and numbers across the UK, allowing keen ornithologists to examine how well different species of birds are doing and help those that are struggling.
The nature reserve at Fowlmere is widely recognised as one of the top places in the United Kingdom to see turtle doves, a species that is seriously struggling, having declined by 93% since 1995.
Ms. Mayer spoke with Fowlmere Head Warden Beth Aucott, who shared with her the findings of the RSPB’s most recent report, and discussed ways that people can make their homes more welcoming to birds and local wildlife.
Alex Mayer said: “I’m calling on people of all ages this weekend, to grab a pen and paper and head out and see what birds they can spot. Let’s see if we can make 2018 the biggest year yet for the Big Garden Bird Watch!
“Birds are vital in our local ecosystems, from scoffing pesky insects, to spreading the seeds that will grow into delicious blackberries. It is really surprising how a such a small thing, like putting a wooden box in a tree, or a handful of seeds or suet can do to encourage birds into your garden.”