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The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch comes to the Forest

Back in January, Forest Holidays joined in the annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. As the RSPB presents its results, here’s a snapshot of our own birdwatching highlights in the forest that weekend.

Every year the RSPB invite the general public to grab a cuppa and spend an hour watching and taking note of the birds that visit their garden. Birds are a great indicator of the general health of our countryside and last year 8.2 million bird sightings were recorded by over half a million people.

For our part, here at Deerpark and at Cropton, Sherwood Forest, Forest of Dean and Strathyre, we gave our participating guests a form and a fat ball of seed for the birds. We also gave information to the guests at the ‘Great Deerpark Duck Race’ about how to join in the event, along with handy hints on how to attract wildlife to the cabins.

The weather for the weekend was overcast at Deerpark with the odd heavy shower but the occasional downpour did not appear to diminish our guests’ enthusiasm one bit. We manage our sites to sit in harmony with the natural surroundings so there was plenty to report and at the end of the weekend the completed forms were sent off to the RSPB.

Here is a selection of the birds we spotted (pictures very kindly supplied by our guests):

Female Blackbird

Female Blackbird – confusingly the female of the species is not black at all, but dark brown.



Chaffinch – with its loud and varied song you will usually hear a chaffinch before you see it. A colourful little bird, it hops along the ground and hedgerows in its search for food.



Robin in full song – familiar to all and regularly voted Britain’s favourite bird in polls



Bullfinch – with its distinctive soot-black cap and rich red-pink breast the male bullfinch is unmissable. His striking good looks are offset by his somewhat mournful call.

Hot tub duck 3

The Hot Tub Duck – this cheeky little fellow was spotted many times over the weekend. His favourite spot is beside the hot tub, where he keeps guard and lets you know when it’s ready for use!

Over a highly enjoyable weekend our guests also spotted all of the following here at Deerpark:

  • Blue Tit
  • Song Thrush
  • Great Tit
  • Grey Wagtail
  • Buzzard
  • Wood Pigeon
  • Marsh Tit
  • Mallard
  • Greenfinch
  • Canada Goose
  • Moorhen

Have a look at the newly published RSPB results and see how they compare to our own little contribution. And if you are staying with us over this spring and summer book onto our Forest Ranger activities to see many more woodland birds and their habitats.