Don't often get anything from this neck of the woods on the blog, but here's Halton's take on the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch....(thanks to Mike Price for the Lapwing shot)
"Halton Borough Council is calling on the public to support this year's RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch - even those without a garden.
People are urged to take to their local parks and green spaces and join in the country's largest annual birdwatching event this month, promoted in partnership with the the Civic Trust.
Halton has six prize-winning Green Flag Award sites at Pickerings Pasture, Runcorn Hill Park, Hough Green, Rock Park, Victoria Promenade and Wigg island.
Last January, nearly 470,000 people nationwide spent an hour watching their local birds, collectively recording more than six million birds. The house sparrow was the commonest bird, beating the starling into second place.
To take part all you need to do is watch the birds in your garden or local park for an hour on either Saturday 27 or Sunday 28 January and record the highest number of each species seen at any one time in the hour (this avoids counting the same birds twice.)
Councillor Phil Harris, Halton Borough Council's Executive Board Member for Nature Conservation, said: "A good quality green space, whether a park, nature reserve or group of allotments or even a garden provides a great pace to discover wildlife and take part in this very important national event."
"I would also urge those residents who have a garden to remember this time of the year it does no harm to feed the birds in a responsible fashion and even consider erecting a bird tray in their garden."
Peter Bembridge, Managing Director of the Civic Trust who manage the Green Flag Award Scheme on behalf of Communities and Local Government, said results could be submitted online via the RSPB website on the weekend of 27/28 January and will remain open until 19 February.
The RSPB will analyse the results and use participant's postcodes to look at the data by geographical area.
The Birdwatch, which began 28 years ago, was one of the first surveys to notice the decline in song thrushes. Recognising early that the numbers of bird species have fallen can help us to act for them before it is too late.
So, if you have an hour to spare over the weekend of 27/28 January, help to make Big Garden Birdwatch 2007 the biggest and best yet!
For further information and to submit your results online visit: www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch. For those without internet access, you can obtain a form on this special hotline no: 0870 600 7108. You can find more information at the Green Flag Award website at www.greenflagaward.org.uk "
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies.....