GARDEN BIRD SURVEY 2012/2013

Ten survey sheets were received, mainly covering the period February 2012 to January 2013. Seven sheets had complete coverage, two were missing January 2013, and one was missing February, March and April 2012.

Nine sheets covered birds within and flying over gardens, whereas one sheet covered birds within and flying over a village.

The average number of species recorded in a garden was 28; the maximum was 38 species and the minimum was 20 species. The village survey recorded 38 species, as would be expected from a larger area.

Overall 57 different bird species were recorded.

The following analysis is based on a presence or absence basis. Recorders were asked to note the maximum number of each species seen in or over their survey area (or site) in each month.

Thus for instance in the above survey if a particular species was seen in every site and in every month then this could be given a maximum score.

This is a one way of judging how common, or otherwise, a resident species is over the total survey area. For summer¬† and winter visitors no such analysis has been attempted, and only the presence ‘score’ is given. Also the sample size of ten sites is relatively small and the results should therefore be treated with caution.

On the above basis the  most common species by some margin were residents Blackbird and Blue Tit, both present in all sites for all but one month. The maximum numbers seen at any one site was eighteen and ten birds respectively.

Other Thrush species were infrequently seen and included resident Mistle Thrush with a score of eight, and winter visitors Redwing and Fieldfare with scores of nine and five respectively.

The next most common species were resident Coal Tit, Great Tit, and Greenfinch, seen in all sites, but on a less regular basis. The maximum numbers seen at any site was ten, eight and fifteen respectively.

Slightly less common were resident Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Dunnock and Chaffinch, again seen in all sites, but not consistently. The maximum numbers at any site was ten, six, four and twenty-five respectively.

Robins were common, being seen in all sites, but only on about 80 percent of months, which was surprising. No more than three Robins were seen at any one time.

Wrens were seen at all sites, but only on about 65 percent of months. Only two sites recorded Wrens throughout the survey period, and no more than two were seen at any site.

A surprise were House Sparrows, being seen at eight sites, on about 55 percent of months. The maximum number seen at any site was also surprising, at thirty birds.

Single Sparrowhawks were seen at six sites, varying being seen every month at one site to just being seen twice at another site.

Single Kestrels were seen on one occasion, at two sites.

Buzzards were seen at five sites, with three being seen on four occasions.

Gardens are forming an increasingly important habitat for certain birds. This is likely to become more so in the future. Although nothing very unusual was recorded in this survey group records of birds flying over and in local gardens have included Wryneck (several records), immature White-tailed Eagle (2005), Black Redstart (2007), immature Night Heron (2012) and Red-throated Thrush (2013).

A complete list of species and the major statistics is given below:

SPECIES no. of sites seen total no of months seen max. no. at any site
Cormorant 1 5 7
Grey Heron 2 11 2
Pink-footed Goose 2 2 c.200
Mallard 2 3 3
Red Kite 1 1 1
Sparrowhawk 6 36 1
Buzzard 5 15 3
Kestrel 2 5 1
Pheasant 3 15 5
Moorhen 1 3 1
Curlew 1 2 4
Black-headed Gull 4 13 25+
Lesser BB Gull 2 9 24
Wood Pigeon 10 102 10
Collared Dove 10 102 6
Tawny Owl 2 4 2
Swift 6 21 13
G S Woodpecker 3 9 1
Sand Martin 1 1 2
Swallow 6 22 10
Pied Wagtail 1 2 1
Waxwing 3 5 28
Wren 10 73 2
Dunnock 9 102 4
Robin 10 95 3
Blackbird 10 114 18
Fieldfare 3 5 30
Song Thrush 9 27 2
Redwing 5 9 10
Mistle Thrush 3 8 2
Whitethroat 1 2 1
Blackcap 2 3 2
Chiffchaff 1 1 5
Goldcrest 1 3 1
Long-tailed Tit 10 52 13
Coal Tit 10 104 c.10
Blue Tit 10 114 c.10
Great Tit 10 104 8
Nuthatch 7 40 2
Treecreeper 3 4 1
Jay 1 7 3
Magpie 7 48 5
Jackdaw 10 88 c.300
Rook 7 49 19
Raven 3 12 3
Starling 7 33 40
House Sparrow 8 63 30
Chaffinch 10 101 25
Brambling 2 8 6
Greenfinch 9 64 15
Goldfinch 10 75 25
Siskin 6 39 24
Lesser Redpoll 3 21 40
Bullfinch 7 45 8
Reed Bunting 1 3 2

A B Gladwin

Recorder