A friendly competition to discover wildlife on your doorstep
Following the success of Spring Watch on the BBC, which showed how the public can engage further with the wildlife around them, the RSB London branch “Balcony Watch” seeks to engage both RSB members and non-members alike in a friendly competition to discover the wildlife on their doorstep. “Balcony Watch” applies to all those small private spaces from balconies, terrasses and gardens within the Greater London area.
The event will be run in collaboration with GiGL
(Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC) who will collect the data and add it to their ever-growing database. The event will run over the weekend of Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th October to celebrate the end of Biology Week 2021. Participants will be asked to record each type of species they observe on a GiGL excel spreadsheet. The recordings will be reviewed by GiGL and a member of the RSB London branch committee to decide on the winners of each category.
GiGL is the capital's environmental record centre. They work with a range of recorders and stakeholders to collate and verify data on London's natural environment. GiGL then provide access to this high quality data via services tailored to the requirements of those who need to make informed decisions in London. Visit the GiGL website
for more information.
The winner of each category will receive a prize (£20 worth of seeds to continue planting more wonderful wildlife attracting plants).
1. Total number of species recorded
2. Total count of all species recorded
3. Most endangered native species recorded
4. Most exotic (non-native) species recorded.
How to take part
If you would like to take part, please go to https://www.gigl.org.uk/recording-spreadsheet
and select the “alternative spreadsheet with fewer fields” to download. Only one spreadsheet per household will be counted. You only need to include your name and address (location where you are recording) once on the spreadsheet.
Each species sighting should be recorded on its own line on the spreadsheet, including any abundance information. For the purposes of this event, abundance is the maximum number of individuals seen together at any one time, not the total spotted over the two days.
To ensure that these records can be part of GiGL's high quality data, each species should only be recorded once over the two day event, although the abundance can be updated if a larger group than was originally recorded is subsequently spotted. For example, if 2 ring-necked parakeets are spotted at 09:00, then that should be entered on the sheet. If a group of 10 is spotted later that day, then the abundance can be updated to 10, and this becomes the new maximum number seen at any one time.
If you do not know the identity of the species you have seen, please make a best guess and include a photo of the species with your email and make a note of the photo name in the ‘comments' section of the spreadsheet. This will also help the experts at GiGL confirm your sightings.
Submit your spreadsheet and any photos before 23:59 on Sunday 10th October 2021, as an email attachment to email@example.com
Please note that spreadsheets submitted before or after the weekend of the event will not be eligible for the competition.
We encourage everyone to get involved regardless of your experience or knowledge of recording. By getting involved you will be contributing to a database of understandings on the biodiversity within the Greater London area.