Nature Blog Network

RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch


We have done this for a number of years now, unfortunately problems with the website have meant that the last 3 year's results haven't made it onto the blog. However I have included numbers for the four years before that for comparison.

Numbers were poor with only 16 birds from 9 species represented. In 2015 there were 19 species…

No starlings. When I first started doing BGBW about 15 years ago there was a regular starling roost of 70+ birds in the tree.
No finches
No sparrows
Only one tit, a blue tit
No wren
Only one thrush, a blackbird

Of the 16 birds, 8 were corvids with 4 magpies, 3 jackdaws and one carrion crow. Sadly the jay didn't visit this year. The great spotted woodpecker did however, and it was good to see him again.

Why the change? I'm not sure.
  • The gross condition of the lane and surrounding land hasn't changed. Adjacent land is recreational and has been for many years so it isn't due to changes in farming practice - there isn't an arable farm for miles, the land is poor quality and only used for pastoral farming.
  • There haven't been any major changes in the use of adjacent land over the last 20 years or so
  • Most of the birds are non-migratory so it is unlikely to be due to changes elsewhere.
  • The local cat population hasn't increased and none were around today.
  • One lucky person posted on Twitter that their sparse activity was due to the attention of a nearby sparrowhawk!

What has increased is the grey squirrel population and four were in evidence this morning. Between them they monopolised the feeders for the whole hour of the BGBW, but usually when the squirrels are about we can see the small passerines hovering about in the wings but there was very little activity today.

2019 2016 2015 2014 2013
starling 0 0 8 1 7
house sparrow 0 4 6 6 6
blackbird 1 2 4 3 3
long tailed tit 0 0 3 0 0
wood pigeon 3 2 2 3 2
magpie 4 2 2 2 1
carrion crow 1 2 2 1 4
chaffinch 0 2 2 0 0
goldfinch 0 0 1 6 4
greenfinch 0 0 1 5 5
great tit 0 2 1 2 3
robin 1 2 1 1 1
blue tit 1 1 1 1 1
dunnock 1 2 1 1 3
wren 0 1 1 1 0
pied wagtail 0 0 1 0 0
gt sp woodpecker 1 0 1 0 0
redwing 0 0 1 0 0
coal tit 0 0 1 0 0
LBB gull 0 4 0 4 0
jay 0 1 0 0 0
song thrush 0 1 0 0 0
jackdaw 3 0 0 0 0