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It's time for annual RSPB Bromley garden birdwatch

PUBLISHED: 13:01 22 January 2013 | UPDATED: 13:01 22 January 2013

Goldfinch

Goldfinch

Archant

Do you know your blackbird from your blue tit or chaffinch? The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds' yearly garden bird watch takes place on January 26 and 27 and they are looking for Bromley residents to help.

Great White EgretGreat White Egret

Schools in the area will be taking part including Southborough Primary and Parish C of E Primary.

Bromley RSPB member Valerie Bryant said: “The birds in our gardens give us an idea as to what is about in our area. The colder the weather, the more varied the species are that visit. In snowy weather it is surprising which birds will arrive. If they find a good food source they will return.

“The national survey takes place on the same weekend every year and gives a broad picture of the bird population so that comparisons can be made.”

The most-spotted birds in Bromley’s 2012 count were blue tits, wood pigeons, starlings, house sparrows and blackbirds.

SwallowSwallow

There is a recognition chart available for beginners on the RSPB web site and results can be entered that way too. Valerie added: “If you see a robin, check if he is just red-breasted, or does the red appear somewhere else too? Look carefully at the blackbird, what colour beak does it have, black, yellow, red?

“You may be extremely lucky and spot a winter visitor on the red berries in your garden. A pale terracotta colour with a crest and interesting wing colours tells you a waxwing has arrived. They stay for a very short time but have been seen quite often this year and last in the Bromley, Orpington and Sidcup areas.”

For more information about the birdwatch see www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch.

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