Earlier this year almost half a million people spent an hour looking out of their windows with one aim – to record the birds they saw as part of the RSPB’s Big Garden Bird Watch.
This annual survey, which has been running since 1979, provides a snap shot into the fortunes of the UK’s garden visitors and provides an easy and fun introduction to the world of bird surveys. Not to mention of course an excellent excuse to watch birds for an hour with a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea!
At the UK level it was all change in the top ten and you can find the results here. However, we are really interested in blackbirds here, and our species of choice has dropped from second to fourth position across the UK. Within Wales, despite holding onto 5th position, the average number of birds seen in Welsh gardens fell from 3 in 2013, to 2.1 in 2014.
Within Cardiff the Blackbird faired even worse! Although it was the fourth most counted species, the average Cardiff Garden held a meagre average of 1.8 Blackbirds in 2014!
This drop in fortunes could be explained by low productivity the species experienced in the hot dry summer of 2013, which was down 12% compared to the five year average according to the BTO's figures.
Big Garden Birdwatch takes places on the last January of each year, so put the date in your diary for 2015!