This weekend, 1st and 2nd February sees the 19th annual Jersey Great Garden Bird Survey (we started in 2002) in conjunction with Action for Wildlife Jersey and the Jersey Evening Post. There goes the weather! Remember the Beast From the East? Apparently (so the UK’s tabloids would have us believe) expect the Pest From the West! Whatever the weather, please count the birds in your garden (instructions below) and use the form which you can download here.
This annual count of the birds in the Island’s gardens has proven invaluable to our understanding of what is happening with many of our favourite species, the ones we often share our daily lives with and cherish. After all, and this may bypass the occasional world leader, what is happening in the birds’ world is happening in ours!
The method of the count is very straight forward. Basically you just need to look out into the garden for a few minutes (I just look out the kitchen window) and write down what birds you see and the maximum number of each species. And, of course, red squirrels count again as birds this year. Just for one weekend!
Once you’ve counted the birds (and squirrels) on your chosen day please fill out the form (here) and email to BOTE at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop off at the JEP office. Alternatively you can fill out the form in the JEP or pick up a form from one of the Island’s garden centres (Ransoms, St Peters, Animal Kingdom or Pet Cabin at Le Quesne’s) and leave it with them.
During last year’s count (read more here) the Top 16 birds recorded were (average per reporting garden):
- House sparrow 6.9
- Chaffinch 1.8
- Wood pigeon 1.77
- Starling 1.75
- Great tit 1.6
- Blue tit 1.6
- Collared dove 1.4
- Magpie 1.4
- Robin 1.3
- Blackbird 1.0
- Greenfinch 0.33
- Song thrush 0.26
- Pheasant 0.22
- Blackcap 0.16
- Great spotted woodpecker 0.12
- Jay 0.12.
Our honorary bird, the red squirrel, at 0.4 per garden, would have been 11th.
So, please take part this weekend, enjoy the birds (and squirrels) and consider yourself citizen scientists!