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Gardeners participate in the 2023 Big Garden Birdwatch

For the third year running Trinity’s gardeners will participate in the Big Garden Birdwatch on Friday 27 January, spending their lunch break recording the birds that visit the College’s 36-acre mixed habitat.

They are hoping to spot some of the more unusual species seen recently in the gardens – including goldcrests and winter visitors to the UK, Fieldfares – as well as the regulars, such as Blue Tit, Great Tit, Robin, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove and Blackbird.

Group of gardeners at Trinity
Trinity’s Garden Teams photographed at the back of the Wren Library by Graham CopeKoga.

The Big Garden Birdwatch (BGB), which this year takes place 27-29 January, is the world’s largest bird survey, run by the RSPB for over 40 years. Anyone can spend an hour on one of the three specified days recording sightings of birds – be it from their garden, balcony or local park – and submitting their findings online or by post.

The data collected helps the RSPB monitor and understand bird-world challenges plus any decline or growth in species.

Trinity’s gardens team has welcomed new staff recently and interest in birds continues.

Grey Heron on the grass
A Grey Heron spotted by Senior Gardener Jo Richards recently.

As a teenager growing up on the Cumbria coast, Deputy Head Gardener Karen Wells remembers waking to the chorus of Herring Gulls and Starlings, as well as the distinctive cry of Curlews across Morecambe Bay.

She isn’t alone. Trinity’s gardeners shared their memories of birding encounters.

Andrew Luetchford, Gardener

I used to think a Dunnock was a Sparrow or young Robin. When it sang, I thought it was a Wren. After a while you’ll realise it’s a very distinctive bird after all.

Jo Miles, Gardener

Childhood walks along the sea wall on the Solent, seeing little Egrets long before they were a common sight in this country… Walking along the reedbeds with a Kingfisher bobbing alongside me.

Josie Zhou, Gardener

In February 2012 Redwings from Scandinavia landed on our tree in Cherry Hinton during third migration.

Lee Froggatt, Gardener

In the 80s we had a Jackdaw called Jack,
Who fell from his nest with a whack,
He was a friend for two years,
Would peck children’s ears,
Then one day he never came back!

Tom Hooijenga, Head Gardener

In the northern part of Holland I remember cycling home, crossing over the dyke, dropping down into the polder, seeing and hearing Skylarks singing above and watching them rise up into the air.

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