RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch flies into care homes | Care UK

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RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch flies into care homes

January 26 2018

 

We are gearing up to take part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch this January.

Residents across the country have their binoculars at the ready and are preparing to participate in the annual wildlife survey, which will be taking place from Saturday 27th until Monday 29th January.

In preparation for the national birdwatch, Appleby House has been making home-made fat balls to feed the birds. Residents are also looking forward to a visit from Epsom Primary School pupils, who will be joining residents for the bird count.

Field Lodge will be visited by the Raptor Foundation, when residents will be able to learn all about birds of prey. Residents here have also been making home-made bird food in preparation for the birdwatch, and one resident has even put their DIY skills to test by building bird boxes.

Residents at Heather View are looking forward to a visit from the RSPB, who will give a short talk on garden birds. Nearby at Bowes House in Hailsham, Kim Parks, a local wildlife photographer, will be presenting a slide show on local birdlife to the residents. 

Meanwhile, Priors House are delighted to host Simon Watts from ‘Wild Presentations’. Simon, who has appeared on BBC’s Springwatch, will give a talk on birds, as well as inviting residents and their families to participate in a live bird count.

Spending time outside and connecting with nature has great benefits for both physical and mental wellbeing, which is important for older people, and particularly for those living with dementia.

Priors House home manager, Francine Summers, explained why the home is one of the many Care UK care homes taking part in this year’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch: “Spending time outdoors is extremely important for both physical and mental wellbeing, and has many benefits for older people, particularly those who are living with dementia.

“Birdwatching has always been a popular past time - from the avid twitcher chasing sightings of nationally rare birds to those who simply liked to feed the ducks and swans in the park. This widespread interest in birds means that it can also be a valuable reminiscence activity with all sorts of older people.  The colourful plumage, songs or just squabbles of starlings over the seed feeder can, with a little careful prompting, bring back all sorts of long lost memories.  It’s a wonderful way to start a conversation with someone who may be increasingly reluctant to speak and it can bridge generations when older people share their memories and knowledge with the grandchildren or visiting school children.”

Residents at Knebworth will be joined by the British Falconry Association, where they will be able to get up close and personal with a variety of birds of prey.

Silversprings are looking forward to a visit from Kala, ‘The Owl Lady’ who will be bringing a variety of species of owls.

Abney Court will be joined by RSPB Stockport to assist in counting the birds. Residents will then take part in a walk in Abney Park to count and photograph the birds spotted. Lauder Lodge in Edinburgh are delighted to be hosting a day of bird watching, bird box building and making natural bird food with pupils from Towerbank Primary School.

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch has taken place annually over the last 38 years, with the information collected each year helping the RSPB form a picture of bird populations across the country and highlighting any trends or changes. For more information, please go to www.rspb.org.uk.

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