So I've just prepped a story for the webzine about the RSPB's new Make Your Nature Count survey. I published it with very mixed feelings. The RSPB is a fine institution, and do many worthy things. Over a million people (including me) see fit to part with their cash to support their good works. So why am I having a whine? Well - in my opinion with this particular survey they're treading on the toes of my good friends at the BTO.
The BTO runs a perfectly good year-round Garden Birdwatch survey. It has the great merit of being scientifically rigourous, and has recorded all sorts of wildlife for years and years. OK - so the RSPB has the clout to get several minutes airing on the Today programme, but why not use that to implore people to help the BTO out? Surely the RSPB doesn't see itself in competition with the BTO? By running its own survey, what does the RSPB hope to achieve? In my more cynical moments I'd say this was a shameless PR exercise off the back of SpringWatch, which will use a great deal of membership money that would have been better spent on habitat. I'm interested in your thoughts about this. Please post your comments.On a lighter note I spent a very merry weekend butterflying. Marsh and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries went very well - but the highlight for me was this very gorgeous Forester moth. Very twinkly.