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How to join the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch and what birds to look out for

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Be wowed by wildlife this week and join a national survey into the status of our garden birds - simply by looking out of your window.

More than a million people across the county - including record numbers in Kent - took part in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch last year.

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is on this weekend Picture: RSPB
The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is on this weekend Picture: RSPB

Thirty three thousand people in the county alone counted the garden birds they saw for an hour either in their own garden or an open space last year.

And its figures have found shocking declines in the numbers, with 38 million birds lost from UK's skies in that time.

Robin numbers have declined by 32% since 1979, as well as many other of the country’s garden favourites.

In 2021, the house sparrow came out top in Kent, coming in at No 1 after being seen in 69.6% of gardens in Kent - though this was down from 72.1% on the year before.

Next was the starling at No. 2, though sightings were down by 15.2% year on year, and blue tit in third place. Completing the top five were the wood pigeon and the blackbird.

House sparrow Picture: RSPB/Ben Andrew
House sparrow Picture: RSPB/Ben Andrew

The familiar robin was seen in 78.4% of gardens, but in much lesser numbers than the house sparrow.

This year's event takes place from Friday, January 28 to Sunday, January 30.

To take part all you need to do is:

1. Watch the birds around you for one hour

2. Count how many of each species of bird lands on your patch

3. Go online and record your results.

Beccy Speight, the charity’s chief executive. “By taking part in the Birdwatch, you are helping to build an annual snapshot of how our birdlife is doing across the UK. It is only by us understanding how our wildlife is faring that we can protect it. We know that nature is in crisis but together, we can take action to solve the problems facing nature.”

The robin's numbers are declining Picture: RSPB Images
The robin's numbers are declining Picture: RSPB Images

You can register to take part and get a free bird identification chart; top tips for your birdwatch and an RSPB voucher, by clicking here or texting BIRD to 70030.

The charity is urging everyone to keep their feeders stocked and clean and water baths topped up as our feathered friends head to gardens in search of food and drink and to place feeders in a visible spot so that when you're indoors so you can get the most pleasure from it.

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