Bird lovers called to weekend action

Bird-lovers across the Borders are being asked by a national charity to log the feathered friends who visit their garden at the weekend.

RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch asks participants to note bird visitors for an hour sometime during Saturday and Sunday, January 25 and 26.

RSPB Scotland’s Louise Smith said: “Every single person who takes part in the Big Garden Birdwatch is helping us learn about what is happening with our much-loved feathered friends.

“These are birds that really count on us.

“The situation has been dire for birds like starlings and sparrows over the last 30 years, but by knowing the exact situation, we can help to put things right.”

The Big Garden Birdwatch, launched in 1979, is the largest garden wildlife survey in the world: more than 2,050 people in the Borders took part last year and over 47,000 Scots joined in.

The most common garden visitor in the Borders was the chaffinch, with an average of seven spotted at any one time.

Results have been used to alert conservationists to species decline.

For the first time this year, RSPB also wants to know whether people ever see deer, squirrels, badgers, hedgehogs, frogs and toads in their gardens, to see how important gardens are for giving all types of wildlife a home. The information will be shared with conservation partners.

Visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch for more information.