Birdwatching in the Lake District: The Big Garden Birdwatch


1st February 2021

This weekend was the RSPB’s 42nd Big Garden Birdwatch, the perfect excuse for a spot of birdwatching in the Lake District. It was also a chance to help the UK’s bird population. All the data gathered helps the RSPB increase its understanding of the various challenges faced by wildlife.

Last year, we spent a couple of hours taking advantage of the peace and quiet at Birkdale House. That was the plan again this year. However, a flurry of bookings over the weekend meant a trip to the office, so that’s where we decided to spend our ‘official RSPB hour’.

Matson Ground Estate

Before we settled down to the serious stuff, we headed out onto the Matson Ground Estate. With over 1000 acres of estate to explore, we thought we’d have a little wander, a chance to breathe in the fresh Lake District air, enjoy some of the fantastic views of Lake Windermere.

This was also an opportunity to spot some of the estate wildlife. Pheasants, birds of prey such as buzzards and sparrow-hawks, and even a jay made an appearance, so a good start to our morning of birdwatching in the Lake District.

With our walk over, we settled down for an hour outside the office with a cup of coffee and a homemade scone. We often sit outside for meetings (especially in the current situation), or simply to take a break from our screens. There’s an array of suet balls, mixed nuts, seeds and homemade bird food cakes which always guarantees a steady stream of visitors.

Click here for a quick and easy cake recipe that will keep the birds happy.

Our Big Garden Birdwatch

The Lake District National Park never fails to disappoint. From red squirrels to red kites, golden eagles to peregrine falcons, there’s an awful lot to spot.

This year, our personal highlight was the flock of about a dozen or so long-tailed tits. They are such pretty little birds. Typically, it was at that point that the camera decided to falter. However, the picture to the left does show a long-tailed tit, albeit flying away, giving the blue tit a chance to enjoy a late breakfast.

We were also quite taken with the nuthatch, caught here enjoying a quick bite to eat on the bird feeder.

Other visitors included robins, blackbirds, coal tits, great tits, sparrows, chaffinches and dunnocks. We count ourselves very lucky to have such an abundance of wildlife just outside the office window.

About the Big Garden Birdwatch

The Big Garden Birdwatch is an annual event and has become the UK’s largest garden wildlife citizen science project.

Birdwatchers of all ages are encouraged to spend one hour tracking the birds they see in their garden. The data recorded provides the RSPB with an invaluable insight into the types of birds present in any given area.

Last year, about 500,000 people took part in the event which began in 1979. Since then, almost 140 million birds have been counted.

The RSPB website is a fantastic place to find out about the winners and losers in our garden.

We’ll be adding a post to our NEWS pages very soon, highlighting the best places to go birdwatching in the Lake District National Park.

In the meantime, happy twitching.