Rural – Jersey Country Life Magazine

THE GREAT GARDEN BIRDWATCH & BIG FARMLAND BIRD COUNT

From blue tits and blackbirds, to robins and wrens – Jersey’s annual birdwatching weekends return this February to help record data on Jersey’s bird populations.

The Great Garden Birdwatch takes place on 5 and 6 February. To participate, you just need to record the birds you see in your garden and submit your results to local conservation groups Birds on the Edge and Action for Wildlife Jersey.

Choose to record on either Saturday 5 or Sunday 6 February, and spend a few minutes (or as long as you like) looking out into your garden. Write down the birds you see, and record the maximum number of each species you see at any one time. The annual Great Garden Birdwatch is also the perfect opportunity to count another of Jersey’s important wildlife species – the red squirrel. So don’t forget to record the number of squirrels scurrying around your garden too.

Everyone who takes part will be ‘doing their bit’ to help the conservation groups understand our garden birds (and squirrels) that bit better. Andrew Koester, who is coordinating the survey, said: ‘Most of all though, it’s fun and will remind you how important our birds are to us and how much we need them to help us feel alive and well. And they’ll take your mind off things. So, please fill out your form on one day over the weekend and help us see how our birds are doing.’

Held over just one weekend, the Jersey Great Garden Birdwatch shows a snapshot in time of the health of Jersey’s garden birds. The survey is held at a similar time each year, so conservation groups can compare results year on year. Islanders have been helping map Jersey’s bird populations since the project began in 2002, providing long-term data that is vital for analysing how populations change over time.

Submit your results through the online survey, or alternatively, download and print the pdf survey form.

Send your results as soon as possible after your survey, so the groups can collate the results. Birds on the Edge and Action for Wildlife Jersey also provide a photographic guide of common garden birds to help with identification.

The local event follows the UK-wide Big Garden Birdwatch organised by the RSPB, which takes place on the last weekend of January.

The Jersey Dairy Big Farmland Bird Count

Later in February, local ornithologists and farmers in Jersey will participate in their own birdwatch – the Jersey Dairy Big Farmland Bird Count. Now in its third year, the bird count helps record data across the Island to identify trends in species numbers. Last year, 10 dairy farms took part in the event across 12 sites, recording 1,425 birds in total across 44 species.

Organised by Sangan Island Conservation Ltd, the 2022 bird count will take place on Sunday 20 February at 10 am. Nine farms are signed up so far, who will each undertake a point count at the same time to help reduce double counting of birds.

Send us a photo from your Great Garden Birdwatch or Jersey Dairy Big Farmland Bird Count, and we could feature it in our fortnightly email newsletter, Rural Post.

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