Count the wildlife that's counting on you!

Wednesday 18 January 2017

It's almost time to count the wildlife that's counting on you! Big Garden Birdwatch 2017 begins on Saturday 28 January and there's still plenty of time to get involved.

Big Garden Birdwatch is a chance for everyone to help nature by donating one hour to count the birds and other wildlife in their gardens. The data gathered from this survey provides a vital health-check of the wildlife that makes its home here.

In 2016 around half a million people counted the feathered friends in their patch, including a record 35,000 people across Northern Ireland. Starlings swooped into top spot here after being seen in almost 70 per cent of gardens and green spaces.

Just visit the Birdwatch website ( to register for free and spend one hour counting the birds you see at any time during 28, 29 or 30 January. You can use the handy online bird counting tool on the website to identify and record the birds as you see them directly on your laptop, tablet or smartphone.

As temperatures drop, the natural food available for wildlife becomes scarcer so birds are more likely to visit gardens in the hope of supplementing their diets. We recommend providing a mix of food sources like seeds, peanuts, sunflower hearts and suet balls to help them keep their energy up. Kitchen leftovers like mild grated cheese, cold potatoes, apples and pastry scraps will also go down a treat! For more hints and tips on giving nature a home where you live, head to

Don't worry if you don't have a garden - your local park or nature reserve is a great place to do a Birdwatch too! Check out some of these great spots across Northern Ireland:




Belfast's Window on Wildlife


100 Airport Road West, Belfast Harbour Estate, BT3 9ED

Portmore Lough


George's Island Road, Aghalee

Lough Neagh Discovery Centre


Oxford Island National Nature Reserve, Craigavon, BT66 6NJ

Lurgan Park


Windsor Ave, Lurgan BT67 9BG

Crawfordsburn County Park


Bridge Road South, Helen's Bay, BT19 1JT

Castle Espie


78 Ballydrain Rd, Comber, Newtownards BT23 6EA

Ballyronan Wood


135A Shore Rd, Ballyronan, Magherafelt BT45 6JA

Prehen Wood


105 Prehen Park, Derry~Londonderry BT47 2

Peatlands Park


33 Derryhubbert Road, Dungannon, BT71 6NW

Knockmany Forest


B83 Knockmany Road, Augher, BT76 0XJ

Castle Caldwell


A47 Kesh to Belleek Road, approx BT93 2AB



A4 Sligo road and A32 Swanlinbar Road, BT92 1DB

*Please note admission is chargeable at some of these locations. Please contact individual attractions for information on prices and opening times.

Last Updated: Tuesday 28 August 2018

Tagged with: Country: Northern Ireland Topic: Big Garden Birdwatch