How to take part in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch

Robins are one of the UK's most loved birds
Robins are one of the UK's most loved birds

The largest garden wildlife survey returns this weekend and the RSPB wants you to take part.

Last year, nearly 11,000 people in East Sussex joined in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch.

Across England, nearly 700,000 people took part in 2022 and they counted 11 million birds.

The charity is urging people in the county to spend just one hour on Friday, Saturday or Sunday this week watching and recording the birds in their garden, balcony or local park and then send their results to the RSPB.

“The birds we see in our gardens, from our balconies, and in our parks, are a lively, colourful and endlessly fascinating part of all our lives, offering a real connection to the natural world," said Beccy Speight, the RSPB’s chief executive.

“By taking part in the Birdwatch you, and hundreds of thousands like you, play an important role in helping us understand how UK birds are doing."

Last year, the house sparrow was top of East Sussex’s rankings as the most commonly seen garden bird. The blue tit and starling, a favourite for their mumurations at Brighton Palace Pier, completed the top three.

To take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch 2023, watch the birds on your balcony, in your garden or in your local green space for one hour at some point over the three days. Only count the birds that land, not those flying over.

Record the highest number of each bird species you see at any one time – not the total you see in the hour.

Beccy added: “Whatever you see - one blackbird, 20 sparrows or no birds at all - it all counts. It helps us build that vital overall picture of how our garden birds are faring from one year to the next.

"With so much challenging our birds now, it’s more important than ever to submit your results. Our garden birds are counting on you.”

This year marks the 44th Big Garden Birdwatch. Starting in 1979, it has since become a much-loved annual event, that helps give the RSPB a valuable snapshot of how our garden birds are doing in the UK.

Over that time, 172 million birds have been counted and nearly 11 million hours spent watching garden birds.