News archive

October 2013

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Goldfinch on seed feeder

Citizen science.

The Gloucestershire Ornithological Coordinating Committee runs a winter garden bird survey each year for nine weeks in January and February. We are always on the lookout for additional surveyors as, inevitably, people drop out from the survey each year for one reason or another. Only those living within the Gloucestershire county boundary can take part, I'm afraid. The survey involves counting the number of birds which actually land in your garden (or on the house etc.) and keeping a tally of the maximum number of each species seen (simultaneously) in the garden each week. It doesn't matter if you are away for two or three weeks in January and February. A report is sent to all surveyors after I have analysed the results. If anyone is interested I'd be very pleased to send along survey forms to those who contact me at mvicpolley@tiscali.co.uk or phone 01453 842896. It cheers me up at a rather depressing time of the year to look out of the window and spot maybe a Siskin or Treecreeper to record on my list!

All the records go to the Gloucestershire Centre for Environmental Records (GCER) and to our County Bird Recorder, Richard Baatsen, who says that this scheme, with currently about 250 surveyors, constitutes an important part of the county's bird records, and of course records (sent on to the BTO ) are ultimately the foundation stone for bird conservation. Another benefit is that those who survey garden birds tend to put out more food of a greater variety, reducing bird mortality over this difficult time of year.