IT’S that time again, when the RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch is coming up on January 29-31.

It is a nationwide survey which many other countries also do at the same time. You pick an hour and then watch and count which birds show up in your garden, or a local park although although you might have to be creative about staying warm.

Even if you don’t see any, it is valuable information that the RSPB puts together for a picture of our winter bird populations.

Birds are a feast for the eyes and gives us that magical touch of nature that has even been measured to have a beneficial effect on our mental health, especially hearing the birdsong.

As winter continues, the available food in the wild becomes less available. Supplement naturally occurring food in your garden and watch them flock in!

High-energy food containing suet helps birds get through the cold. Remember to keep feeders and tables clean, so the birds stay healthy and disease-free, and position your feeders in a relatively open area away from predators – the birds will feel safer and visit more!

The Worcestershire Wildlife Trust has lots of advice for feeding birds on its website.

While you can’t grow anything in the garden yet perhaps you could consider if there are any bird-friendly flowers you could plant.

Some places do seed mixes tailored for birds or else you could try scabious, knapweeds, cornflower and teasels. Actually I had a couple of sunflowers last year and left the heads on, which got eaten over Christmas.

If you have space, let a patch of grass grow long as well. The seeds of flowering grasses provide a much-needed feast for sparrows.