Tuesday, 24 March 2020

The Croydon Lockdown Bird Watch

In case you haven't heard, the RSPB closed all its reserves today until further notice. Many of you will have received an email about this from our Chief Executive Beccy Speight. In it she says:
"Nature is all around us. Perhaps, like me, you are able to look out of your window onto trees bursting into blossom, bright white against a clear blue sky, or maybe you can hear the melodic song of blackbirds as dusk approaches.
"Watching wildlife, whether from a window or a balcony or even online, can offer many of us hope, joy and a welcome distraction, and so we are keen to help you carry on connecting with the natural world."

As an attempt to lighten the dark days of lockdown, perhaps you would like a bit of a challenge. So I would like to launch 'The Croydon Lockdown Bird Watch'. Early thoughts for now and I may modify things as time goes on.
As Beccy alluded to, we should have more time to spend looking at the birds in our gardens. If you are up for it, I would like people to keep a note of the birds they see or hear in or from their garden/house (ok, so not birds actually IN your house I hope!) over the period of a week. As it includes birds seen from your garden, the distant dot that turns out to be a buzzard or red kite will count, as will the green woodpecker calling from a neighbour's garden. Then email me the lists at the end of the week and I will see which different species have been recorded and who has seen the most. No prizes, just doing your bit enjoying our birds.
I have prepared a modified form of our garden recording sheet for you to note down the birds. It covers the next five weeks. I will send out a new one if there has been sufficient interest and in anticipation that lockdown will continue.
We can start tomorrow and I look forward to receiving the first lists next week. Although just over four hours to go on my list, the Tawny Owl hooting outside this evening gives hope for what could turn up. And even if you don't take part in our challenge, you can still enjoy the birds.

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