Where have all the blackbirds gone?

By | Category: Travel news
blackbird © Jules Hill

blackbird © Jules Hill

Last January, we were urged to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch. Thousands did and nearly half a million more  across our nations. Now the results are in.

House sparrows are still the commonest bird that we found in our gardens followed by blue tits, starlings and blackbirds. But blackbirds are slowly dropping down the order. The RSPB says that may not be significant since mild winters allo blackbirds to feast more widely and therefore, they may not come into gardens in such  large numbers.

Who has not seen an increase in wood pigeons in their gardens recently? Fourteen I have seen in one ours and that was all at the same time so it is no surprise that they remain the fifth most popular bird seen. Then comes the chaffinch, the goldfinch  (which seem to avoid our place) great tits, collared doves and robin which round off the top ten.

A bird I would love to see in my garden but have yet to see is the great spotted woodpecker which comes in at number 20, up five places over last year.

  song thrush ©Chris Gomersal

song thrush ©Chris Gomersal

Starlings and thrushes are the birds that seem to have suffered most since the watch began back in 1979. Both are now on the “red list” meaning that their decline is of great concern. So is that of sparrows although their numbers may be becoming a bit more stable. There has been a big drop in chaffinches over the last 35 years as wellbut you wouldn’t know it from my garden. We regularly will have fifteen or twenty at a time which made me wonder whether there were regional variances in what the RSPB saw. For that news we’ll have to wait.

 

 

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