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Spotters look out for bugs and birds along the Thames

PUBLISHED: 13:32 08 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:50 05 October 2010

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WILDLIFE watchers and Cockney Sparrow snappers will be heading for the river bank as the second annual ThamesWatch gets underway this month. The RSPB has teamed up with invertebrate conservation trust Buglife in a bid to get people out to spot as many shi

WILDLIFE watchers and Cockney Sparrow snappers will be heading for the river bank as the second annual ThamesWatch gets underway this month.

The RSPB has teamed up with invertebrate conservation trust Buglife in a bid to get people out to spot as many shimmering dragonflies, darting kingfishers and other river-dwelling creatures as they can.

This year's annual River Thames project is taking place over six weeks from Monday, April-Sunday, May 30.

Participants can download check sheets and mark off different species of bird, mammal and invertebrate as well as different kinds of plants and trees.

The RSPB and Buglife expect spotters to see moorhens, mute swans, herons, cormorants, mallards, coots, black headed gulls, king fishers, great crested grebes, seven spot ladybirds, buff tailed bumble bees, red tailed bumble bees, hairy dragon flies, marmalade hover flies, large red damsel flies and hawthorn shield bugs as they wildlife watch along the Thames in the East End.

RSPB spokesman Tim Webb said: "Our waterways are becoming increasingly stressed by the demands we're placing upon them through development, leisure and agriculture.

"Looking after the Thames and its tributaries is more important than ever and I hope ThamesWatch will reunite and inspire us to do more for what is, after all, our life-support system."

The RSPB is working with Crossrail, the Thames Gateway Development Corporation and the Port of London Authority to ensure wildlife is protected from, and enhanced by, development along the length of the Thames.

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