Hey! Watch the birdie...

RSPB Big garden bird watch - Kinneil House and Estate.'Pic by Alan Murray
RSPB Big garden bird watch - Kinneil House and Estate.'Pic by Alan Murray

Garden birds are in decline across the land according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Sadly, household species like the sparrow and the starling are only around in fractions of the numbers they were just a generation ago.

That was underlined at Kinneil Estate in Bo’ness at the weekend when the RSPB’s community engagement officer Joanne Dempster held a workshop to celebrate this year’s Big Garden Birdwatch.

As well as speaking with visitors about the decline in once-ubiquitous species, Joanne gave practical advice on how to attract more bird species to their gardens.

Said Joanne: “Despite the weather, around 30 people turned up for what was our first-ever visit with the Big Garden Birdwatch to Kinneil Estate.

“As well as showing people how to make fat balls to feed the birds in their gardens, we sent them out with a checklist to see what birds they could find.

“We recorded 18 separate species, which was quite good given the conditions.

“There were a number of species which we would not normally expect to come across in the Big Garden Birdwatch, including goosanders and tufted duck which were quite interesting finds.”

Coming up in February are two guided walks on Bo’ness foreshore to investigate its bird-life. Both walks leave the Snab Lane car park at 9am on Saturday, February 22 and Sunday, February 23.

On the Saturday, walkers will head into town along the sea wall and on the Sunday up-river in the direction of Kinneil lagoon.

Both walks are free but should be pre-booked by calling 01324 832853 or emailing joanne.dempster@rspb.org.uk

Remember to dress for the occasion! All technical equipment will be supplied.