Ever fancied dipping a toe into the hobby of birdwatching but never found the time? Well now's your chance.

The RSPB's annual Big Garden Birdwatch takes place across this weekend and to take part you only need a spare hour and an internet connection.

Started back in 1979, the event has helped count more than 137m birds across the country.

One key thing to remember is to only count the birds that land, not those flying over and then you tell the charity the highest number of each bird species you see at any one time, not the total you see in the hour.

After recording your birds, you can submit your results online at rspb.org.uk/birdwatch

In Swindon, the most likely bird you'll see in your garden is the House Sparrow, but you could also see a Starling, Blue Tit, Great Tit or a Robin amongst other species.

The House Sparrow was the highest recorded bird of 2019 with 1.2m seen in the UK.

Becca Speight, the RSPB's chief executive, said: "You don't have to leave home to support nature.

"For many people a great way to get more involved in nature is waiting for them just outside their window, watching the birds in their garden or local park.

"The data gathered by Big Garden Birdwatch-ers over the last 40 years has helped chart the decline and rise of numerous species since the 1970s.

"And contributing to that important piece of citizen science is for many thousands of people a first step in becoming champions for nature.

"More than ever we need everyone to be interested in the wildlife immediately around them - it's endlessly fascinating.

"And at the RSPB, we're confident that the more time we all spend in nature, the more we will be passionate about protecting and restoring it."

The event takes place across January 25, 26 and 27 but birdwatchers only need to do one hour on one of the days.

Here's what you could spot in your garden this weekend:


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The RSPB notes that the Chaffinch is one of the most widespread birds in the UK and that you are more likely to hear the bird before you see it with their "loud song and varied calls."

They like to eat insects and seeds.

Great Tit:

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The Great Tit has a distinctive two-syllable song with the RSPB saying that in the winter it: "joins with blue tits and others to form roaming flocks which scour gardens and countryside for food."

It eats insects, seeds and nuts.

House Sparrow:

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The most common bird you are likely to see this weekend is the House Sparrow however it's population is in decline across the UK.

While the bird does eat seeds, it also eats a lot of human rubbish.


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The Robin is considered the UK's favourite bird and is, of course, the mascot of Swindon's football and speedway teams.

It likes to eat worms, seeds, fruit and insects.

Blue Tit:

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A Blue Tit is one of the most recognisable birds to your garden.

It likes to eat insects, caterpillars, seeds and nuts.


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The final bird to keep an eye out for is the Starling.

The RSPB states that it spends most of the year as part of a flock and is quite noisy.

It likes to eat invertebrates and fruit.