Tag Archives: RSPB survey results

Results of the Big Garden Birdwatch 2011

Fears about the impact of last December’s severe weather, the coldest in 100 years, were unfounded.  The drop in small bird populations witnessed in the RSPB Birdwatch of 2010 during the Big Freeze was rectified by excellent breeding conditions in the following spring.  Small birds in recovery notably include goldcrests, long-tailed tits and coal tits.

Another interesting result of the survey were the numerous sightings of waxwings, reflecting both the large numbers migrating from Scandinavia this winter and the “bird-friendly” berry-producing vegetation people are increasingly planting in their gardens.  A record 600,000 people took part.  The results compared with last year:

  • House sparrow – 4.2 birds per garden in 2011, rise from 3.8 in 2010
  • Starling – 3.9, up from 3.1
  • Blackbird – 3.3, stayed the same
  • Blue tit – 3.2, up from 2.6
  • Chaffinch – 2.4, up from 2.2
  • Wood pigeon – 1.9, stayed the same
  • Great tit – 1.6, up from 1.4
  • Goldfinch – 1.5, up from 1.3
  • Robin – 1.5, stayed the same
  • Collared Dove – 1.3, stayed the same at 1.3

Results of 2010 RSPB Garden Birdwatch

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. Continue reading Results of 2010 RSPB Garden Birdwatch