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    Garnock Connections

    Connecting people and places within the Landscape

Our guide to...Recording Birds

You don’t need binoculars or lots of ID knowledge to record birds in your local area! You can watch birds anywhere – your garden, a local park or green space, while you’re taking a walk or using an accessible trail, or at a nature reserve.

Activities to Try:
  • Watching through a window or from a park bench for an hour and recording the birds which visit
  • Recording the birds you see on a walk or from an accessible trail
  • Visiting a nature reserve with a dedicated bird hide, like RSPB Lochwinnoch or Gailes Marsh, and recording the birds you see there
  • Downloading our Birds Spring Bingo Sheet and taking it with you on your adventures – how many species can you spot?

Equipment to Borrow: 

You don’t need binoculars to record birds, especially if you’re watching in your garden. But they can be useful, especially when out and about, where birds might be further away. You can borrow a pair from us to get a closer view and make identifying species easier.

Identification Resources: 
Top Tips for Recording Birds: 
  • Don’t be intimidated by the number of bird species around. Most common species can be identified by noting a few key characteristic: colour, size, any distinctive behaviours, and beak shape. Keep these in mind as you watch! They’ll come in useful when referring to a field guide or identification tool.
  • Birds visiting a feeder will often remain in the same area for longer than birds foraging in trees, which gives you more time to note their key features. A garden, or feeder station on a nature reserve, is a good place to start.
  • If you’re using binoculars, practise using them before you start birdwatching – including finding objects, changing the focus to look at things in the distance and close-by, and following moving objects. This takes a bit of practice, but it’s worth it!
1x magnification: your usual vision. 8x and 10x magnification: your vision through binoculars!
Photo Credit: Binoculars Guides


We'd love to hear from you...

Get in touch with your findings and let us know what you've seen! 

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07595 655 174

Garnock Connections,
RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve
Largs Road, Lochwinnoch,
Renfrewshire, PA12 4JF


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