MP joins local school in the world’s biggest birdwatch

To help keep track of Haringey’s bird population, Lynne Featherstone MP on Friday went bird counting with Greig City Academy students, in the school’s grounds in Hornsey.

The Hornsey and Wood Green MP joined the students for the RSPB’s ‘Big Schools’ Birdwatch’, an annual event to check up on the UK bird population and part of the world’s biggest birdwatch. Armed with check sheets and pictures of the most common birds, the team spotted species such as woodland pigeon and blue tit, in the schools’ special wildlife garden.

Any local resident who wants handy tips on how to make their garden more inviting to birds should go to

Lynne Featherstone, MP, comments:

“I’ve just had the most amazing time, bird counting with the Greig City students, and, thanks to this handy sheet, we were able to identify quite a few different ones, like woodland pigeons and blue tits.

“I look forward to seeing the results, but I fear that, judging from previous years’ counts, we need to do all we can, to make Haringey’s birds feel more at home.

“The RSPB has got a really useful website, with handy tips on how to make a garden more inviting, and I’m certainly going to have a look to see what I can do with mine!”

Tweeting – the real thing- RSPB's Big Schools Garden Watch

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.