It's hoped more than half a million people will take part in the world's largest wildlife survey this weekend. The Big Garden Birdwatch encourages people across the UK to count the birds and other animals in their gardens over a one-hour period, providing a vital snapshot of the state of the nation's wildlife. The survey began 38 years ago - the brainchild of Peter Holden, the former national organiser of what was then the RSPB's Young Ornithologists Club. Last year just over 8.5 million birds were reported. The house sparrow was the most-spotted, followed by the starling, blackbird, blue tit, wood pigeon, chaffinch, robin, great tit, goldfinch and collared dove. This cheeky robin (above) was one of two that followed me around the garden last February, eager for any insects that might be unearthed as I cleared up the leaves.
More details at rspb.org.uk/birdwatch