Nature Blog Network

Big Garden Bird Watch 2021

The RSPB have announced the 'top ten' from the Big Garden Bird watch 2021. They are:

1. House Sparrow
2. Blue tit
3. Starling
4. Blackbird
5. Woodpigeon
6. Robin
7. Great tit
8. Goldfinch
9. Magpie
10. Long-tailed tit

Comparing these with our findings, we had more corvids (4 crows, 4 jackdaws and 2 magpies) and did relatively better for finches (2 chaffinches and 2 bullfinches). On the BGBW day we only had 2 sparrows but usually have 6-7, these have increased in recent years so it's good to be bucking the trend in the nice way. No starlings that day, usually we have 5-6 or so.

Apparently it was a bad year nationally for finches, with Greenfinch and Chaffinch numbers both down. We haven't seen Greenfinches since the trichomonas outbreak a few years ago but Chaffinch numbers have been relatively consistent, albeit low.

The overall figures mask huge changes in bird numbers however and the decline of 'common' birds often isn't noticed until the numbers get very low. Both mallard and herring gull numbers are falling rapidly, but because they are everywhere nobody notices unless people count and report them. Back to gardens however:

Increasing:
long-tailed tit, magpie, goldfinch, great tit, wood pigeon (by a whopping 1029%!), blue tit,

Decreasing:
robin, blackbird, starling (by a similarly whopping 83%), house sparrow

The starling decline is most noticeable round here, there was a starling roost on the trees on Springhill Lane which regularly hosted 70+ birds. The birds have long gone and sadly some of the trees were felled last year as part of the proposed development of the field.