The RSPB has collated and released the results of this year’s public wildlife survey – the world’s largest. Over half a million people took part, spotting over 8m birds.
The sparrow is still in the no.1 spot ( although not in my garden), and the long-tailed tit makes its first appearance in the top 10, due to the mild winter.
My own sightings were fairly typical of where I live. Click here to download regional results to compare your garden with those around you.
Here’s what I saw, with their ranking where I live in brackets:
3 blue tit (3), wood pigeon (4), blackbird (5), collared dove (6), great tit (7), robin (8), dunnock (13), coal tit (18), nuthatch (25).
I’ve written about the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch for the past six years, so it would seem odd not to do it this year (just because my ex-employer closed the website I worked on.)
And I’ll be taking part in it, too, as I have every year for the past six, except last year. Last year I was in Finland. Just for fun I kept a lookout as I ate breakfast, and I saw one magpie in the hotel grounds in an hour. It’s pretty cold 200km north of the Arctic Circle!
I love the mass participation idea of the Big Garden Birdwatch. And I love the idea that the nation is taking notice of everyday birds. As a travel writer (part of the time), I’ve seen some impressive birds in impressive locations: penguins in the Galapagos Islands (above), flamingos in France, puffins in Newfoundland, and red-whiskered bulbuls and weaver birds nesting in Mauritius (below). But I still love to see a robin sitting on my fence.
Perfect for commitment-phobes, Big Garden Birdwatch is one hour, once a year (this weekend, January 30-31 2016). And the RSPB couldn’t make it any easier, short of elbowing you out of your chair and seeing your birds for you. So do it – and don’t forget to send your results!
Update: just finished on Saturday morning, having seen: dunnock, two great tits, robin, two nuthatches, blue tit, wood pigeon, two coal tits, collared dove, blackbird.