If you remember from My Big Garden Birdwatch Results blog post at the end of January, I took part in the RSPB’s annual birdwatch, and I am sure many of you did too! The RSPB has been collecting and counting the results from over half a million people over the last couple of months and the results are now available here!
The top 10 birds of 2017:
- House sparrow
- Blue tit
- Great tit
- Long tailed tit
Over 8 million birds were counted, with some interesting results. Goldfinch, blackbird and robin numbers have all increased over the last 10 years. Waxwing sightings were very high this year (I wish I had seen one) due to “a lack of berries in their native Scandinavia” prompting them to travel to the UK, even as far west as Wales and Ireland!
Along with the increases though, there unfortunately had to be some decreases! Surprisingly sightings of blue tits, great tits and coal tits were all down by at least 10% on last year’s figures. Also since the first RSPB Garden Birdwatch in 1979, greenfinch, starling and chaffinch numbers have all dropped too (despite the latter two being in this year’s top 10).
The RSPB is a brilliant charity and by running the Big Garden Birdwatch, they not only encourage people to take an interest in wildlife and give nature a home, but also allow us to know and understand which birds are doing well and which are not. We can then help, take action, monitor and hopefully make a difference!
So the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is complete! I hope you all had a wonderful time identifying and counting the birds and wildlife in your gardens or local parks.
This year I completed the survey at my in-laws house who live further out of the city. Last year, at my childhood home, the birds played a trick on me and decided not to land, meaning I only counted a handful of birds. I therefore wanted to see whether the location difference would affect my results. As you may know from my post about the Robin, my own back yard is pretty small and bird-less. I have a bird feeder and occasionally put out dried meal-worms, but do not want to encourage many birds as both of my neighbours have cats. Luckily though, my Birdwatch location had several well-used feeders out ready, so it was as simple as pulling up a chair to the window, getting comfy with a cup of tea and waiting for the birds to arrive. The hour ‘flew’ by and I managed to record twelve birds in total (from the garden and surrounding trees): 1 great tit, 1 robin, 1 blue tit, 4 woodpigeons, 2 house sparrows, 1 female blackbird, 1 collared dove and 1 carrion crow. Throughout the rest of the day, many more birds landed in the garden including a wren, and the female blackbird returned on several occasions (she is a regular apparently). A plump squirrel also made an appearance and stayed long enough for me to take a few photographs!
The lovely robin and squirrel who visited the garden during this year’s Birdwatch.
4, 383, 224 birds have been counted and submitted to the RSPB so far and I am really interested to see the final results from mid-February. The results will help the RSPB find out what wildlife is thriving and what is in trouble, ultimately leading to “action to put things right”. The survey started back in 1979 as a small children’s activity, but now has over half a million people taking part each year! With the 38th year of data now being collated by the RSPB, the insight into UK wildlife is more accurate than ever… and it has already provided some fascinating information, for example between 2006 and 2016, the UK song thrush population decreased by a staggering 98% whereas the UK goldfinch population increased by an impressive 89%. As of 2014, respondents have also been asked about other wildlife as well a birds in their gardens, so a greater picture is beginning to be painted UK-wide!
Did you take part this year? If so, what birds and other wildlife did you record?