RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch Results are in

Over half a million people took part to count more than 8.5 million birds and the results showed an increase in most of the top 20 birds compared with 2014 results.

Housesparrow - No 1 in our gardens

Housesparrow – No 1 in our gardens

However the picture is more complicated when looked at in detail. Our finches; chaffinch, goldfinch and greenfinch were all down on last year, likely to be because of a good seed crop following a productive summer out in the countryside.  This is part of a long term drop probably due to Trichomonosis a disease which can be contracted at garden feeding stations – so it’s good to clean them every now and then.

We also had fewer of our charismatic winter migrants like redwing and waxwing this year, most likely because conditions were good on the continent over winter and they were quite happy to stay there.

Real winners included the wren which was reported double the number of times compared to last year. Blackbird also rose to claim the number three spot this year, with sightings in more than 90 percent of UK gardens. The much loved robin also did well with sightings of the red-breast at their highest level per garden since 2011. These birds will come into gardens during cold conditions and keep coming back if they find a reliable food source.