Local Big Year: what will you see?

©Martin Gascoigne-Pees

article writen by Henrietta Pringle, TVERC Biological Recording Co-ordinator


If you’re on social media, you may have noticed references to #LocalBigYear in your feeds. Started by the bird sightings news service BirdGuides and magazine, Birdwatch, this challenge encourages you to focus your birdwatching on your local area, to see how many bird species you can record over a year.


You can decide just how local you want to make your ‘patch’, be it your garden or local park, or anywhere falling within a certain distance from your house. If you’re keen to maximise the number of species you see, it’s a good idea to pick an area that encompasses a mixture of habitats. Even my small suburban garden yielded 31 species last year, so I’ll be trying to beat that in 2022!


For seasoned birders, this is a great way to see just how many birds your local patch can yield, with hopefully some surprises turning up. It’s also a fantastic way to get into birding: familiarising yourself with the birds in your area, what they look and sound like, and what habitats they’re found in is a great way to start. You’ll also get to see how the species community changes throughout the year, from the arrival of swallows, swifts, martins and warblers in spring to breed, to the geese, redwings and fieldfares ushering in winter. So whether you’re competing for the Local find of the year, or want to increase your knowledge, why not give it a go? To make the most of your records, please do submit them to us via our website or to the national BirdTrack scheme.

Posted: January 11, 2022