|Blue Tit - No 2 on the list|
So it is that time of year again when the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch results are in and as always it makes for sorry reading. For those who are not aware of it, a date in Jan is set (25th and 26th Jan in 2014) and people or families (or in my case my daughter and I), in the UK, spend an hour counting garden birds (as in birds that appear in our gardens). You then upload the largest count of each species to the RSPB webpage where they compile the numbers into a complete database where the numbers can be monitored and any fluctuations (or more importantly falls) in numbers of birds can be highlighted. We as birdwatchers/naturalists are then aware which birds need the most help.
|Robin - No. 10 on the list|
- House Sparrow
- Blue Tit
- Great Tit
- Collard Dove
But the list does not tell the full story. Goldfinches were an Amber species before 2001 so to make the top ten is fantastic, whereas while House Sparrow is still number one the actual numbers are down 62% since the first Garden Birdwatch, a massive fall in birds. Starlings Song Thrushes and Greenfinch have fared even worse over the years.
You can download all the figures from the RSPB site: https://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch/
Rarest bird of the watch was a Yellow-Rumped Warbler found in a County Durham garden (I have a few American birders visit the site so in case you question this, they are an extreme rarity this side of the Atlantic).
Perhaps now we are still seeing such a decline in House Sparrow numbers we should all be doing more to help this colonial nester, and seeing if we can put up Sparrow boxes to help them out (usual nest boxes are not great as they like to all nest together).
I hope next year you will all join me in taking part in this worthwhile and fun activity (if nothing else it might help your kids get more involved).
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