This weekend was the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. This is a national event where members of the public are encouraged to watch and record the birds visiting their gardens for a period of an hour. The RSPB can provide a sheet with the majority of birds that you would likely find in the average garden so that you can tick them off when you spot them. You can then send your observations to the RSPB so that they can compile a national survey of the state of the bird population across the UK.
At the River and Rowing museum in Henley on Thames they had a Big Garden Bird Watch event which I went to see. The museum has a big garden which provides lots of open space for the birds to come and feed on the strategically placed bird feeders. The garden is overlooked by a large window from the museum where you were able to sit in the warm and watch the birds come and go. There were also other activities one of which was making a bird seed cake
To get a close view of the birds the RSPB were providing binoculars and telescopes which you could use, but a lot of people had also come prepared with their own equipment. There was a table with items for sale which included a number of the badges from the RSPB large pin badge collection (102). I already have a few of these and was able to add a couple more to my collection. Although I don’t see how the rather nice starfish badge that I purchased is related to the RSPB.
I have my own pair of lightweight binoculars (thanks Grandma Jean) which I had taken along and was able to focus on one of the feeders and watch the birds flitting to and from it, and chasing each other. There was also a massive wood pigeon which just sat and gobbled the seeds and nuts. I was so engrossed that after an hour Wayne had to suggest that we stopped and got some lunch.
The museum café was closed for refurbishment, but will open on 1st Feb, so we had to go into the town for lunch at the Catherine Wheel. After lunch we looked around the busy charity shops where I grabbed a bargain CD and the Comic Relief pin badges for 2017.
The museum has its own car park which is free for visitors but it is a gravel surface which is not ideal for wheelchairs. We therefore parked in the council car park which is right outside the door but it is not free if you don’t have a blue badge. There is a ramp to the front door and assess inside the building is good. The entrance admission was £11 but the ticket is valid for a year and you can go and visit as many times as you like at no extra cost.