Back Garden Birdwatch: Avoiding Corona Boredom

Listen with the volume up!

Out in the garden the other morning, listening to the chorus shortly after sunrise. In the forest I’m pretty good at identifying birds by their calls- but at home, I can’t discern which bird is singing! Asking the girls which birds visited the garden, they could name a few of the obvious ones- but not the smaller fleeting visitors. Looking at the wildlife book collection, I was surprised that there wasn’t any just on birds- wildlife in general, and loads on trees, but none on birds; and certainly none on back garden birds! So, a quick bit of research and we found loads of things we can do!

Idea one: spend time looking and noticing which birds come into the garden, this could be done from inside, or sitting as still as possible in a corner of the garden until the birds start to pop down. You could use some binoculars, or just your peakers! There’s lots of resources and guides online to use, but this one from the RSPB has the option to choose the environment you saw the bird- your back garden- and get an idea of the bird’s size in relation to the iconic robin! My personal favourite is the song thrush– and it’s energetic call!

Idea two: once you can readily identify the top three or four visitors to your garden, you can keep a tally of how often they visit; this could be for a set hour each morning, or at different times of the day! If you’re educating children at home, then this is an easy way to embed some maths in your day- as it’s a form of data gathering; from this, you can discuss ways of recording, presenting and making sense of the data- such as in graph form, and comparing and contrasting them! Is there more bird call in the morning? The afternoon? When it’s raining or windy?

Idea three: there’s pleasant incessance to birdsong this time of year- and it’s an opportunity to listen and seek to identify the birds by their call, to just their appearance. The RSPB site has an example of the calls, but if you’re trying to identity a particular call it can be difficult- so I’ve You Tube videos such as this one, as well as audio books that plays lots of calls so that I can try to pick out the one I’m hearing! I’m always impressed by the wren– that something so loud and piercing can come from such a tiny body!

Idea four: this is a brilliant idea I got from Lily Horseman from Kindling Play and Training; when you’re listening to birdsong, can you work out what voice the birds are using? Lily says there’s five, using your hand, or your fingers to identify them. Rather than retelling the detail of it here- check out Lily’s post with it on!

On a weekend and week where there is some fantastic weather- the first fine and warm sunshine of the year where there are concerns of people going out, and not following the advice to socially distance and stay home during this Coronavirus pandemic- why not stay in the garden and appreciate what we have!

See you all soon, stay safe, stay home, stay active, get fresh air and remain positive! Kindest wishes, Morgan.

Cover photo: courtesy of the RSPB.