It’s that time of year again. Yes, Big Garden Birdwatch is back.

 The world’s largest bird survey has been running for over 40 years and provides vital information on the health of our natural world. For example did you know, it was one of the first surveys to identify the decline of song thrushes in gardens. This species was a firm fixture in the top 10 in 1979, but by 2019, those numbers had declined by 76% – coming in at number 20. And that house sparrow sightings have dropped by 53% since the first Birdwatch in 1979? However, in the past 10 years their numbers have grown by 10% showing that we are beginning to see some signs of recovery.

The results collected help us to spot problems, but more importantly, they are the first step towards putting things right. As the years of data grow it not only helps us to plan and target conservation, but also highlights what is working and increases our understanding.

So you see, the more people that take part, the greater the impact. And yes, your results really do matter. It only takes an hour to do and you don’t even need to leave your home. All you need is a pen and paper. Comfy seat, cup of tea and biscuits are optional, but personally I find they do help! Big Garden Birdwatch takes place over the last weekend in January and this year that’s Friday 29 January to Sunday 31 January. You can choose any hour within these dates and even do it as many times as you like – remember it is all significant data you will be providing. If you don’t have a garden, don’t worry you can record what you see from your window or in your local park. Count the most birds you see at any one time, otherwise you could count the same bird twice and only count those that land, not those flying over. When you have completed your Big Garden Birdwatch submit your results online or by post, even if you didn’t see anything!

There is plenty of information online at www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch and in the run up, we will be giving you tips of how to attract birds to your patch and how to identify them on our RSPB Pagham Harbour Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RSPBPaghamHarbour/ Thank you for your support.

Anonymous