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It's Big Garden Birdwatch time again! Will you be counting?

Hello everyone and Happy New Year from the TAPS wildlife watchers!

We hope you all had a nice Christmas and new year, it seems ages ago now. The weather has taken a wintery turn getting very cold, so here at the Hub we've been making sure we keep the bird feeders topped up.

This weekend is the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch which we will be taking part in, as well as the guys in the Studio. As we have said before this is a very important thing to do as it helps to find out how many birds visit our gardens and parks. Last year’s winner was the sparrow, we wonder if he can keep the title this year? If you haven't already, please sign up for this valuable event.

This month has seen the return of Winterwatch with Chris and Michaela back at Wild Ken Hill in Norfolk. We always look forward to seeing what wildlife turns up and also the live cameras which we always enjoy. Here at the Hub, we've been lucky enough on two occasions to see a green woodpecker.

Contrary to what you may think, the green woodpecker doesn't actually drum, that job goes to the great spotted woodpecker. Green woodpeckers are the largest of the three that breed in Britain, they have a short tail and long bill which is perfect for digging the ants that they eat, they use this to dig into ant colonies and eat the ants inside. There are currently 45,000 pairs and can be seen all year round.

Today we were also lucky enough to see fieldfares, it is the first for us, so we were very pleased to see this, sadly, now red-listed bird. There are only 0 to 1 breeding pairs in the UK but 720,000 wintering birds. They visit us from Scandinavia.

Jasmine also spotted a sparrow hawk, a first for her, on our bird table, the rest of us missed it sadly. Sparrowhawks are amber listed raptor bird, despite there being 30,500 pairs in the UK. Let’s hope they soon move up to green.

That's all we have time for this month, please share your wildlife pictures with us, we’d love to see them. Bye for now keep watching wildlife and help where you can.

Jasmine, Tim, Craig, Helen, Mark, Stephen, Justin, Lucie and Claire

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