The 2022 Big Campus Birdwatch takes place on Friday 28th January, and we're encouraging staff and students to take part.
The RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) Big Garden Birdwatch takes place over the weekend of 28th - 30th January 2022. This annual survey is not only a great opportunity to learn more about our back garden wildlife, but also makes an important contribution to monitoring biodiversity across the country. Last year over a million people took part in the event!
As corporate members of the RSPB, the University encourages staff and students alike to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, and we also organise our own Big Campus Birdwatch, where we ask staff and students to help us better understand the bird life across different areas of campus.
This year, the Big Campus Birdwatch will take place on Friday 28th January, and can be carried out in your own time, either individually or in small groups with your friends or colleagues.
How can I take part?
To take part in the Big Campus Birdwatch, simply choose a favourite spot on campus at any time on Friday 28th January and record what birds you see using our online form.
You can birdwatch for up to an hour, but if you have less time available then you can still take part - just record what you see and let us know when and where you were taking part.
You might see groups of Sparrows chattering in hedgerows, a solitary Robin, colourful Blue Tits, or perhaps something a bit more unusual like a Redwing or Woodpecker. You might even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one the Peregrine Falcons which regularly nest on the Parkinson Tower.
If you are not on campus on the day, or if you want to take part from home over the weekend, then sign up to the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch here, where you can also find lots more information about how to take part.
What do I need to do?
First choose a spot on campus where you can sit comfortably to take part. You could decide to visit St George's Field, watch the world go by from the Parkinson steps or hang out outside the Union building, for example.
Then simply count and write down the number of birds you see landing on the ground in your patch. Don't include those that just fly over without stopping, and if you see groups of birds, then record the largest number of that species you see at any one time. So if you see a group of eight sparrows together, but later see six together, then write down eight as your final count.
What if I don't recognise the birds I see?
You most certainly don't need to be an experienced bird watcher to participate - part of the fun is the opportunity to learn about the wildlife that's on our doorstep.
The RSPB have some fantastic resources to help - as well as the official RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch guide they have an interactive Bird Identifier on their website. This lets you enter information such as where you were, the size and colour of the bird and it will give suggestions of what species it might have been.
The RSPB social channels share lots of information on recognising common birds, including recordings of different birdsongs to help you identify the birds you see. We'll be sharing some of those on our Sustainability Service social channels too, so make sure you're following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
If you're still stuck, just take a quick photo and share it with us either via email or by tagging us on social media - @UoL_Sus on both Twitter and Instagram. You can also use the tags #BigGardenBirdwatch and #BigCampusBirdwatch to see what others have spotted.
After the event
Make sure you submit your sightings via the form so that we can add it to the records.
We'll use the information to help us better understand what birds we currently have on campus, where they are and how we can attract more as part of our biodiversity programme.
We'll also share an update on our blog after the event so you can see which are the most common birds on campus.
Happy bird watching!