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Birdwatching pupils help RSPB take a ‘snapshot’ of UK bird numbers

Pupils at leading independent prep school Belmont Grosvenor were greeted with a full dawn chorus when they arrived to take part in the RSPB’s Big School Bird Watch.

Youngsters at the ‘outstanding’ co-educational school got out their binoculars and birdfeed to join the national birdwatching event which aims to create a ‘snapshot’ picture of bird numbers in the UK.

Pupils at Belmont Grosvenor School take part in the RSPB’s event each winter – and this year they noticed far more activity at the bird table than in previous years.

Barney Porter, Harvey Ward, Angus Wood and Iris Johnson
Barney Porter, Harvey Ward, Angus Wood and Iris Johnson

Year 1 teacher and Eco Club co-ordinator Anne Harrison said pupils arrived extra early at the school, based in 20 acres of grounds at Swarcliffe Hall, Birstwith, to take part in the event and were rewarded by seeing a wide number of birds.

Anne Harrison said: The pupils observed using binoculars and recorded numbers. We saw chaffinch, pheasant, goldfinch, greenfinches and thrush.

When we arrived at school we were greeted with a full chorus and the bird table was much busier than for the last two years. Children saw many more blue/great tits and more robins – it was a very successful morning.

Other birds spotted during the Big School Bird Watch included blackbirds, magpie and starlings.

After recording the numbers and taking photos, which will be sent to the RSPB, youngsters tucked into a pre-school breakfast of toast and juice!

Anne Harrison said: Belmont Grosvenor has the most wonderful grounds and both the Nature and Eco Clubs are very popular with the children as they enable them to appreciate and make the most of this outstanding setting.

Belmont Grosvenor School and its Magic Tree Nursery caters for children from three months to 11 years. As well as running eco and nature clubs, the school has a wide number of after-school clubs including languages, dance and music.

Main photograph: from left to right, Vincent Cugno, Nina Brooksbank and Leah Osborn

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