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Forest ramblings

Big Garden Birdwatch at Forest Glade

Jan 24, 2019

The Big Garden Birdwatch (BGBW) takes place at the end of January each year. The RSPB has been asking people for the last 40 years to count the birds in their garden over one hour during the weekend. Thousands of people take part, so this regular scientific data can help them spot where numbers have declined or risen over time and create a snapshot of bird numbers across the UK. According to their website, since 1979, we've lost more than half our house sparrows and some three-quarters of our starlings, although blue tits have increased by 20% and woodpigeon by 800%!

We see lots of birds up here at Forest Glade so, in honour of the BGBW, we thought we'd share some photos of our favourite flying visitors.

Being surrounded by woodland, we attract bullfinches like this rather splendid chap, unmistakeable with his bright pink waistcoat.  

We have bird feeders around the park which attract a wide range of species. We were lucky to spot this rather sweet bluetit feeding its young. 

  

We seem to be bucking the trend with the number of sparrows we see up here. They love the bird bath, splashing about in raucous groups, whilst these collared doves make a rather regal-looking pair.

The peanut feeder is a magnet for great spotted woodpeckers, which can often be heard tap-tapping away in spring, establishing their territories. 

 

We occasionally see braver birds of prey on the park too. We nicknamed this buzzard Billy – he used to sit for hours watching the wildlife pond!  

They're rather hard to photograph, being very well-camouflaged, but we also have nightjars in the trees behind the Five Acre Field – some of our customers have asked us about the strange noises at night coming from the area when camping up there as they sound a bit like tree frogs!

 
Image of Nightjar from Pixabay

We're looking forward now to spring, when the wildlife on the park really comes into its own. Preserving the environment for future generations is very important to us and we do whatever we can to make the park a haven for wildlife. We've had a David Bellamy Gold Conservation Award for 17 years. You can read more about it on our website.

To find out more about the BGBW, visit the RSPB website, or search for #BigGardenBirdWatch