MORE than half a million people are expected to take part in the world’s biggest wildlife survey, the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, this Saturday and Sunday.
Thousands of people took part across the Advertiser and Review region in 2011 to help find out how garden birds are faring.
This winter has seen temperatures go from mild to freezing and back again, and after two cold winters before it, the wildlife charity is eager to find out what this year’s weather will mean for garden birds.
RSPB’s Sarah Houghton said: “The last few months have been anything but predictable so it will be interesting to see what kinds of birds people are seeing this weekend, and in what numbers.
“With plenty of natural food still about, some of the usual suspects might be a bit elusive, but heavy rain and strong winds could send other surprises our way.
“And spring-like signs might even be inspiring early breeding activities. There’s already been lots of evidence of birds recce-ing potential nest sites so whatever the weather, it’ll be a busy time.”
The RSPB is asking everyone to take part by picking an hour this weekend to record the birds they see, and feed their results back.
And they are urging everyone to submit their results, even if the numbers of birds they see might seem a bit low.
RSPB wildlife advisor Val Osborne said: “We are very mindful that a late cold snap could be a real shock for the birds but the food we all put out can make a real difference to see birds through the winter.”
Visit the RSPB website www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch for more information and to submit results online.