Three Edinburgh care homes had bird-feeders filled and binoculars at the ready when they took part in this year’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, with the help of some local friends.
Residents at Lauder Lodge, Cairdean House and Murrayside all participated in the annual wildlife survey, and recorded the number of birds, as well as other wildlife species, in their gardens.
Children from the Edinburgh North East Scout Group joined residents at Lauder Lodge to help make bird boxes and feeders for the home’s garden, while the team at Murrayside invited pupils from Corstorphine Primary School for a birdwatching session, and everyone enjoyed making bird cakes.
Meanwhile, the team at Cairdean House invited the Scottish Owl Centreto lead a ‘show and tell’ workshop with residents. The home was visited by a host of birds of prey, including a great horned owl and a tawny owl, and residents had the opportunity to learn interesting facts aboutthe different species and hold the feathered friends.
2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, which encourages people nationwide to count the birds in their gardens to allow the charity to monitor trends and understand how different species are doing. Data from over half a million people is then compared year-on-year to provide a snapshot of bird numbers across the UK.
Gillian Goodall, home manager at Cairdean House, said: “The birdwatch is a popular activity with residents every year. Everyone enjoys getting wrapped up and spotting birds in the garden, so we were delighted that the Scottish Owl Centrecould join us for the big event.All the residents enjoyed taking part, learning more about the wildlife in our garden, and interacting with some new feathered friends.”
Home manager at Murrayside, Michelle Reid, added: “Birdwatching gives older people a fantastic opportunity to get outdoors and be more active, and it’s perfect for all levels of mobility. This wonderfully inclusive hobby can also be enjoyed across the generations, and I know the pupils from Corstorphine Primary School learned plenty from the residents. We all had a fantastic time and will continue our hobby over the coming months.”