RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch with BioScapes

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Last week, the team enjoyed a different lunch break and ventured outside to record the birds visiting BioScapes HQ for RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch, which sees people documenting the number of avian species they find in any given setting, within an hour. We wanted to contribute knowledge of our garden birds as part of one of the largest citizen science programmes in the world.

It was a chilly day, but we wrapped up warm for the survey. Guided by Terry, our lead ecologist, we were surprised by the number of birds found. From preening blackbirds and long tailed tits hunting among the branches of nearby trees, to a moorhen calling from a wetland area.

The highlight for us was seeing a kestrel hunting over the grassland. Once it had finished swooping and hovering over our field, it landed in the top of a nearby birch tree. Using Terry’s telescope, we were able to see more closely that it was a female with black speckles on her rusty brown back. We also saw a small wren flying in and around our NatureArk®, searching for insects, before pausing to look at us, tail feathers pointed up to the sky and giving the little alarm call.

We recorded 12 different bird species at the office, whilst colleagues working from home also contributed to the survey, which added an extra 4 species to our overall sighting list.

Our team is aware that recording and protecting our wildlife is extremely important, but this event has also reminded us how important it is to connect with the natural world. There’s lots of research which shows that nature connectivity improves wellbeing, social connectivity (and very relevant in an office environment) significantly boosts productivity.

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