Kate MacRae, also known as WildlifeKate, reports on how the Leica Trinovid 10×32 were her invaluable companions for this year’s Big Garden Birdwatch.
Every year, I look forward to a very special event run by the RSPB; the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. This yearly event is called the Big Garden Birdwatch.
Between the 28th-30th January, we are asked to choose just one hour to watch what birds you see land in your garden, park or local green space. This huge citizen-science project began in 1979, and the data gathered has helped to track the demise and successes of different species visiting these spaces.
In 2021, over a million people took part, providing an epic amount of data. All done by simply uploading the results from our bird watch onto the RSPB app or website. I am always delighted to be able to be a part of this amazing survey… and it gives me an excuse to get out in the garden with my binoculars.
When I am out in the garden doing jobs, filling the feeders or creating new set-ups, if my binoculars are not around my neck, then they are very close by. You never know what you might see! With the sudden appearance of a sparrowhawk just a few weeks ago, I was mighty glad the Trinovids were close to hand, so I could view this stunning hunter. Luckily for my garden birds, no one was taken this time.
The Big Garden Birdwatch encourages me to slow down a bit and take a really good look at some of the wonderful visitors I have. The crisp, clear image these binoculars provide really shows the details of some of the birds’ plumage, that you miss with the naked eye.
The goldfinches are just stunning and, looking through the Trinovids, you can see the feather detail on their head is actually made up of several different reds. A common bird, such as the blue tit, comes alive through the binoculars as they pick up every detail in minute detail. The vibrancy of the male greenfinches in the winter sunlight is enhanced by the excellent optics and I am even able to pick out the ring number on a great tit visitor.
I’m always clambering around in the garden, or further afield, so my binoculars need to be sturdy and able to cope with real outdoor conditions. The rubber armour on them not only feels comfortable to the hands, but also offers excellent protection. In chilly winter conditions, the coating is also not too cold to the touch.
This year, I watched my birds just about all weekend. My garden cameras live streamed all weekend with the RSPB and I had a live chat on their YouTube channel as part of the weekend of events. My plethora of cameras helped with my final bird count, but there is nothing better than actually being outside with my binoculars. From greenfinch and goldfinch, to nuthatch and robin, I recorded 20 species this year. Shockingly, we’ve lost 38 million birds from UK skies in the last 50 years, so it really is vital we do all we can to look after our birdlife. And taking part in surveys like this is more important than ever.
You can keep up to date with Kate’s livestreams here.
Kate uses the Leica Trinovid 10×32 which you can find here.