Up with the lark and hopped over to Greig Academy to join them in the RSPBs Big Schools Garden Watch. Armed with pictures of different birds and a check sheet to tick off which ones we spotted – I went out into the cold morning air with a group of enthusiastic pupils, teacher and binoculars.
And I finally got it! I mean – I have long known that bird-watching is hugely popular – but have never really understood the joys of staying out in the cold, keeping still and silent, and staring endlessly at mostly nothing. How wrong I was. It is completely fascinating and enjoyable – and the special wonder of suddenly finding in my urban surroundings – just how much bird life is out there. It’s just like this massive secret life that runs parallel to ours – but I guess I am just so busy rushing around and never lifting my eyes – I just don’t see what’s in front of me.
The annual count that this visit is part of is a really important way to keep a check on just what is happening to our bird population – and what happens to birds matters to us and our future.
In fact – so enthused – I begged to take hope a sheet of pictures so I can watch in my own garden.
So thank you Greig City Academy and the RSPB – for opening my eyes.