The 2012 Big Garden Birdwatch underway

Family watching / feeding garden birds. Big Garden Birdwatch, winter 2003-2004

Family watching / feeding garden birds. Big Garden Birdwatch, winter 2003-2004

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The world’s biggest garden bird survey returns this weekend.

More than 45,000 Scots participated in last year’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, each spending one hour counting the birds that visit their gardens and parks.

The most common garden visitor in Aberdeenshire was the house sparrow, with an average of six spotted at any one time.

This year, the conservation charity is keen to see if 2011’s mixed weather will have had any impact on garden bird numbers.

Gale force winds during the breeding season in May raised concerns for some species when nests were blown from trees, eggs were destroyed and young perished.

Louise Smith of RSPB Scotland said: “The Big Garden Birdwatch is a fun and easy way to learn more about the wildlife in your garden, while at the same contributing to an important piece of citizen science.

“It’s open to everyone regardless of age or experience, and you don’t even need to have a garden, you can head or your local park or nature reserve instead.”

“It will be interesting to see what, if any, impact the heavy winds we experienced in the Spring and the recent mild winter weather may have had on our garden birds.

“As always, we will be keeping a watchful eye on all results so the more entries we have, the better chance we have of spotting any worrying trends.”

For more information about the Big Garden Birdwatch visit http://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch/