As expected, small birds struggled to survive the big freeze: long tailed tits, who had prospered over a succession of mild winters, dropped by 27% compared to last year, when they made the top ten for the first time. The biggest decline was in goldcrest sightings – down by 75%. Losses would have been worse without the tremendous response to calls for keeping bird tables well stocked.
Another effect of the hard winter was a movement of countryside birds into gardens in their search for food. Sightings of redwings increased by 185%, fieldfares by 73% and song thrushes by 51%. Yellowhammers and bullfinches were also more frequent garden visitors. Read the rest of this entry