Join the Birdwatch: is your garden bird-friendly?

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Bird-watching has always been popular. Across the UK, more than half a million people took part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch 2023, counting and reporting on more than nine million birds!
The Big Garden Birdwatch is a public survey, involving people tracking the types of birds – and how many of them – can be seen in their garden. Collectively it builds a picture of bird activity in gardens across the UK. Click here if you would like more information about how YOU can take part!
Looking at this year’s results, the top three birds seen in Dorset gardens are the blue tit, the house sparrow and the starling.
But rare birds are sometimes seen as well! This year in Dorset there have been confirmed sightings of the Eurasian goshawk and common chiffchaff (Siberian)! The Eurasian goshawk is a forest-dwelling hawk with pale eyebrows and orange eyes. The common chiffchaff is a very plain and dull, more brownish bird overall with pale eyebrows and dark legs. Have you seen on in your garden?
If you do see a bird and don’t know what it is, this online identifier tool might help
If you want to make your garden more bird-friendly here are some ideas:
Put out bird food on a bird table and in feeders. Try seeds for sparrows and finches, fat balls for tits, and fruit and worms for thrushes and robins. Try to put out only what will get eaten, so there’s nothing left to go off
Put out fresh water and make sure you clean feeders and tables regularly
Provide safe nesting places by planting native trees and shrubs, or putting up nest boxes or a bird box.
A bird box can substitute for a tree-hole and many birds will move in the autumn to get ready for winter.
If bird-watching appeals to you, why not join a local bird watching group? Take a look at
Dorset Bird Club on Facebook, where you can join events, talk birds – and of course report any rare sightings!

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