Millbank Primary School

Growing Together To Be Our Best

Bird Watching

The "Big school's Birdwatch Fortnight" has always been a great deal of fun and the children really enjoy taking part in it and looking at the different birds that they can see and hear in our playground. We used all our senses, first we listened to the different bird songs that we could hear. The seagulls did not make any noises as they swooped overhead. We could make out and the bird song of Thrush and Sparrows that were hiding in the privet bushes even though we could not see them. We used our eyes to spot the birds then used the binoculars to look closer at the birds perched on neighbouring roofs and chimney pots. We did some nice drawings of birds and counted the numbers that we could actually see together (taking care not to count the same ones more than once). We saw a pair of 'pied wagtails' and we could see how they got their name with their tail wagging up and down as they darted across the yard. We saw four wood pigeons who perched up in the trees. We were rather surprised to see a group of over 40 blackbirds erupt into the air, they must have been distributed from the trees alongside Ely River. We did see a house sparrow but none of the blue tits and robins that often visit the feeders in the garden. The children enjoyed the event and were all surprised how many birds that they already knew the names of. They were looking forward to repeating the exercise at home with their families on the weekend as part of the RSPB's GARDENWATCH where you can count the birds in your own garden. The survey will really help find out how the bird populations in the UK are doing, and its a great family activity too, When our school was first built in 1902 it was surrounded by farmland and fields so there was no need for large areas of grass and our gardens are small in comparison to many schools but the children have always taken enjoyment in making feeders and hanging them from the tree as well as the bird bath and boxes. Of course in summer we have the house-martins nesting and their amazing agility is a joy to see. Green Gang are keen to point out that "The more birds we can attract to our gardens the fewer pests there will be!" You can see Miss Gibson's class 4 when they took part in the Schools Birdwatch project in 2008. Of course Class five saw lots of different birds & wild life when they went pondipping at Cog and reception looked at some of the butterflies that we have in the Highlight for Album: *CATERPILLARSgarden. And of course Green Gang planted some trees in the garden for us all to enjoy too. The BBC has some birds and songs from around the world here, and of course the popular "Breathing places" website is great fun for the children too. The RSPB's site has lots of fun activities and games and it is worth exploring -why not become a member?