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Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP Kate Forces urges Ross-shire residents to take part in RSPB's annual Big Garden Birdwatch

By Philip Murray

Kate Forbes (right) with RSPB volunteer Andrea Goddard at the RSPB Tollie Red Kites site in Ross-shire.
Kate Forbes (right) with RSPB volunteer Andrea Goddard at the RSPB Tollie Red Kites site in Ross-shire.

A CELEBRATED bird watching spot in Ross-shire has received a visit from a prolific tweeter to urge Highlanders to take part in the RSPB’s annual “big garden birdwatch”.

Between this Saturday to Monday an estimated 30,000 people across Scotland will spend an hour watching birds and other wildlife in their garden, or local green space, and record what they see.

Participants can download a recording sheet from the RSPB website and the results will help the organisation get an accurate picture of local nature.

And local MSP Kate Forbes popped along to the Tollie Red Kites bird-spotting facility to lend her support. The Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP said: “In the Highlands, we are particularly blessed to be surrounded by amazing wildlife.

“I suspect that most people are a bit like me – running around too fast to actually stop and appreciate our surroundings.

“That is why I’m taking part in RSPB’s birdwatch, to pause for a moment and value the many species all around us.”

Keith Morton, RSPB Scotland senior species policy officer, said: “Wildlife is drawn to our gardens, especially in winter, where it can find shelter, and often food and water.

“Taking part in big garden birdwatch helps us build a picture of how birds are doing across the country, and you get to be part of a huge nationwide effort that has now been going on for 41 years.

“Everyone and anyone can take part. It’s very easy, you don’t need expert knowledge and, whether it’s your first year or your forty-first year, I guarantee you will enjoy it. And you can do it not just in your own garden, but in a local park or similar outdoor space.

“We are always amazed just how many people take part in Scotland each year, providing us with huge amounts of information, and proving just how much they care about our fantastic wildlife.

“Every effort is worthwhile, every birdwatcher counts!”

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