Blogs and News - St George's School For Girls, Edinburgh

08 Mar 2017
Do You Know Your Dunnock From Your Wagtail?

Dunnock SQ 250wLower School Eco group certainly do. On Friday 10 February, the Lower School Eco girls spent a tranquil hour observing birds from LS7, and learned how to recognise these and many other species. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) runs this Big Schools’ Birdwatch every year. Their website has a massive amount of information and resources available, and they also sent a poster so that we could work out exactly which birds we were looking at. Earlier in the week, the Eco girls put out bird food – suet balls, seed mix and peanuts and Mr Young installed a fantastic bird feeder. The idea was for the birds to get used to coming to the feeder. 

On the morning itself, fourteen girls and Dr Molyneux gathered in LS7 at 8am. Mrs Sloan and Mme Barbier also joined in. We were able to use Dr Molyneux’s binoculars to get a really good look at the birds on the table and the garden nearby.  We had to record the maximum number of birds of each species seen at any time, so if we saw three blue tits and then ten minutes later we saw two, then it stayed as having seen 3, because they could have been the same ones.  There were some birds we had never heard of before, like the Dunnock, which is a small, inconspicuous bird that is found in hedgerows. (Pictured above left) Luckily, Dr Molyneux is a keen birdwatcher, so she could help us identify everything.  Charlotte looked at the identification guide and said, “ I wish we could see long-tailed tits” and two minutes later, they turned up!  We were very pleased to see a grey wagtail (which is yellow!) and lots of tits, pigeons and jackdaws.

Here are our results:

  • Black bird  2
  • Pied wagtail  1
  • Grey Wagtail  1
  • Dunnock  2
  • Feral pigeon  4
  • Woodpigeon  3
  • Jackdaw  23 ( yes, 23)
  • Blue tit  3
  • Long-tailed tit  2
  • Song thrush  1
  • House sparrow  1
  • Magpie  1
  • Robin  2

We also saw a grey squirrel which was very keen to eat the peanuts and fat balls. 

Dr Molyneux sent off the results to the RSPB and so we have contributed to the national bank of information about the numbers of birds in the UK.  The RSPB will be letting us know how our results compare with the national statistics later in March this year.

Lower School Eco Group

  • Grey Wagtail
  • Dunnock
  • Blue Tit
  • Robin Inv 6
  • Sparrow 3
  • Long Tailed Tit
  • Young Grey Squirrel
  • Grey Wagtail
  • Dunnock
  • Blue Tit
  • Robin Inv 6
  • Sparrow 3
  • Long Tailed Tit
  • Young Grey Squirrel
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