Sussex residents asked to join in garden birdwatch survey

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Wildlife lovers across Sussex are being asked to count the birds in their gardens as part of a nationwide survey.

More than half a million people are expected to join the annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch survey, which will takes place this weekend (January 30 and 31).

Daniel Hayhow, RSPB conservation scientist, said: “Last year’s survey saw more than eight-and-a-half million birds spotted, making it another great year for participation.

“With over half a million people now regularly taking part, coupled with over 30 years’ worth of data, Big Garden Birdwatch allows us to monitor trends and helps us understand how birds are doing.”

As well as counting birds the RSPB is also asking participants to log some of the other wildlife they see, such as hedgehogs, foxes, stoats and squirrels.

Mr Hayhow added: “The threats to our wildlife means that it’s facing tough times. For example it is estimated that we’ve lost more than half of our hedgehogs in the last 50 years.

“We’re going to include this part of the survey every year now, enabling us to monitor the distribution of our other wildlife as well as trends in bird numbers.”

The results of the wildlife survey, which began in 1979, provide valuable information about the changes in numbers of birds using gardens in winter.

Species in continuing decline include starlings and song thrushes, which have dropped by 80 and 70 per cent respectively since the Birdwatch began.

To find out more visit rspb.org.uk/birdwatch and details on the Big Schools’ Birdwatch can be found at rspb.org.uk/schoolswatch.

Do you have any photos of the birds that visit your garden? Send us your pictures so we can share them online or go to our Facebook page.

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