Our friends at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds – Croydon Chapter write:
I hope this finds you as well as can be expected as we enter lockdown part 2. At least we can still get out and about for exercise, even if we can only meet up one and one, socially distanced, between different households. Although advice is stay at home as much as possible, you could still take your exercise in our open spaces and connect with nature there. Abide by all current rules and guidelines to keep yourself and others safe; remember to keep washing your hands, wear face coverings (to protect others) and maintain social distancing. It appears that the RSPB is trying to maintain trails, car parks and toilets (but not indoor facilities) open at many reserves – check the RSPB website for current information.
Of course, you do not have to leave your own premises to enjoy nature. As the first lockdown showed, earlier this year, wildlife often comes to our gardens, especially if you have sources of food and water. And some birds simply pass overhead, perhaps calling as they go. The mix of birds may be different from those encountered in spring and early summer, but still worth sorting out. If you can get outside after dark you may just hear the ‘shreep’ calls of redwings as they flock in overnight, with some still on the move in the first couple of hours of daylight. Other birds heading over could include siskins and lesser redpolls, perhaps even a brambling. Meanwhile blackbirds, chaffinches and goldfinches may turn up in your garden in larger numbers than in summer. At dusk there is a chance you may encounter flocks of birds heading to roost. Jackdaws may be going to Riddlesdown or Mitcham Common, ring-necked parakeets to Mitcham Common or pied wagtails to the town centres. If you see or hear any of these, try to note the direction they are heading.
If you do have an interest, why not amuse yourself and help out the Group by participating in our ‘Croydon WinterLockdown Bird Watch’? All we ask is that you keep a note of all the birds (and other species of wildlife if you wish) that you see or hear either in or from your garden during the month of November. Forms (in pdf format) should be available on our website Then email (it can be as a scan or photo of it) or post a copy of the completed form to me at the end of November. And I am not proud – you could just include the list in the body of an email, or hand write it on a sheet of paper! Just to whet your appetite, on day 1 of Lockdown, one lucky person found a woodcock in their Purley garden.
Later in the month, I will be announcing the ‘Croydon Winter Lockdown Bird Race’; who will record the most species from their garden during the course of a single day?
And don’t forget that Gill Jones is still able to order goods for you from the RSPB catalogue. To save the cost of postage, please do contact her.
Check out our website rspb.org.uk/groups/croydon/ for details about the bird watch and for sales of RSPB goods.
That’s all for now. Enjoy nature and stay safe.