Micro volunteering is the buzz word in our office at the moment, little steps that make a massive different to our conservation work. Coming up at the end of January is our fantastic BGBW, don’t forget to get involved for an hour by counting birds in your garden!
How about taking a bigger step and get involved with our Saving Nature collection? Here’s a day in the life of Dana Rock, Community Fundraiser from our Midlands Office.
“If I was a chicken,” I explain, grinning through my feathers, “then I would probably have been filleted and frozen by now!”
I am a goldfinch, not a chicken.
I’ve lost count of the number of times when someone in my local supermarket has mistaken me for a chicken. I invariably correct then by joking about what’s in their shopping basket.
You can imagine my delight when a young mum comes up to me and my friend Eleanor, drops a pound in my bucket and then turns to her daughter and says “this one’s a goldfinch and that one’s a tree sparrow.” I could hug you! We then spend a few minutes chatting about the birds in her garden – yes, we’ve seen the occasional goldfinch (usually after the nyjer seeds) but never a tree sparrow.
This is what I love most about fundraising for the RSPB – talking to people about what they’ve seen. I get to hear some great stories from people who love to watch wildlife. We’ll talk about what comes to their feeders, the pet name they have for their regular robin visitor, and the red kites circling overhead that we didn’t see ten years ago (I grew up in South Oxfordshire so there are plenty to see now!)
Of course, you don’t need to dress up in a silly costume to raise money for the RSPB. It’s just that whenever given the opportunity I will always make a tit (or finch) of myself.
The next time I will be preening my feathered costume will be at the end of January – and I’m really looking forward to it. For the first time, the RSPB has organized a series of fundraising collections to tie in with the Big Garden Bird Watch and is currently looking for volunteers to help.
I know plenty of people who can talk about birds for days – so standing in a local store and chatting about chaffinches as a charming ‘chicken’ for 3 hours is really not too strenuous!
These collections aim to raise vital funds for the RSPB and to encourage more people to take part in the Big Garden Bird Watch. If that isn’t reason enough, then do it just for the charm of goldfinches and the fun of chattering about birds…
To find out where you nearest collection is go to: Save Nature