And with the RSPB 2016 Big Garden Birdwatch taking place across the weekend of January 30-31, we hope our visitors will help us spot the birds in the gardens and let the RSPB know about your findings.
The Big Garden Birdwatch is the world’s largest wildlife survey and the results that members of the public submit are vital in helping conservationists target their efforts towards the vulnerable wildlife that is counting on us for its survival.
More than half a million people are expected to watch and count their garden birds for this year’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch this month, and you can help play a part in representing our birds here in Somerset.
Over the last 30 years it has provided valuable information about the changes in numbers of birds using our gardens in winter. We hope you will help compile this valuable information for the RSPB by watching the birds here at Hestercombe for an hour. If you spot any other wildlife then be sure to log that too.
Hestercombe Landscape Manager Ben Knight said: “We try and encourage all types of wildlife to the gardens here at Hestercombe, and birds are no exception. We regularly see most common birds and we also get woodpeckers, nuthatches, jays, treecreepers, the occasional tawny owl and buzzards, which are out hunting most days around the woodland at Combe House.
“The native plants in the Landscape Garden produce berries to attract many species of bird. We also plant native trees and shrubs which support insects that the birds eat. Some of the shrubs we plant are really good for birds as they feed on the berries of plants like holly, hawthorn and guelder rose.”
Morwenna Alldis, spokesperson for the RSPB South West said: “Taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch couldn’t be easier, simply register now on our website at rspb.org.uk/birdwatch and request a free Birdwatch pack, which is full of helpful tips to make your Big Garden Birdwatch a real success.
“After you’re done, submit your results either online, using our live Big Garden Birdwatch App or pop your survey form in the post – it’s as simple as that. We’re basically asking everyone to take an hour’s break to enjoy looking at nature, so not only is this survey great for our UK wildlife, it’s also brilliant for our mental wellbeing too, by helping us reconnect to the natural world.
“Last year’s Big Garden Birdwatch results highlighted that greenfinches had dramatically dropped to 25th place on the most seen birds in our UK gardens. The reason for this decline is likely the disease Trichomonosis and as a result we are now urging people to regularly clean their feeders, bird tables and bird baths to help stop the disease from spreading.”
Come to Hestercombe to count the wild bird species and pick up your counting sheet from the admissions desk.
For more information on Big Garden Birdwatch 2016 visit: rspb.org.uk/birdwatch