Look out for feathered visitors to your garden this weekend as part of RSPB Birdwatch

It’s time to grab your binoculars, a pen and paper and head for the garden or your local park to help the RSPB with their annual Big Garden Birdwatch.

At least half a million people up and down the country will be sparing an hour of their time on Saturday and Sunday to record the birds they see in their gardens and help the society get a better picture of the species to be found in the UK.

They are particularly keen to find out how the coldest December since records began will have affected bird numbers, with higher numbers than usual occupying London gardens expected.

Sightings of less common London garden birds, such as waxwings and redwings have already been reported.

To take part, you simply need to record the different species you see in your garden or park (not flying over) and their numbers, and you’re not sure what you’ve seen, the RSPB have a bird identifier to help: rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdidentifier/.

Tim Webb, a RSPB spokesman, said the top 10 species he would expect to see in Tower Hamlets are house sparrows, woodpigeons, blue tits, great tits, blackbirds, greenfinchs, robins, magpies, chaffinchs and goldfinchs.

Visitors to Victoria and Mile End parks should expect to see pigeons, crows and ducks while lucky spotters might catch a pair of peregrine falcons around the Canary Wharf or Wapping areas.

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Said to be the fastest animal on the planet, with a diving speed of 200mph, you’ll have to be quick to catch a view of them and you’re unlikely to find them resting in your garden.

Though the birdwatch is focused on gardens and parks, if you catch the bird-watching bug there are other spots likely to yield great results.

At the East India Dock Basin and the canals of the borough, you could spot redshanks, coots, moorhens, ducks and gulls.

To find out more about how to take part, to download a bird ID sheet and to record your results, visit rspb.org.uk/birdwatch/takepart.aspx.