Across the UK, over 600,000 people took part in this year's RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, a record breaking number watching their garden birds. In the East over 75,500 people counted their winged garden visitors during one hour over the weekend 29th and 30th January. Your counts revealed that some of the smaller birds that decreased in numbers last year, bounced back this year. The top bird seen in the East was the starling, with 57% of participants spotting an average of 4 during the survey.
2. House Sparrow
4. Blue Tit
6. Collared Dove
8. Great Tit
9. Long tailed tit
Across the UK, sightings of goldcrests doubled, long tailed tits increased by a third and coal tits increased by a quarter. The long, harsh winter of 2009/2010 hit birds like long-tailed tits, goldcrests and coal tits with all three species dropping significantly in last years' Big Garden Birdwatch. Although smaller birds can be particularly badly affected by harsh winters, a good breeding season can help reverse declines, and these new results suggest that may have been the case in 2010.
Thousands of people across the region were also lucky enough to see waxwings from residential streets to berry laden trees on the coastal roads. The striking birds flood to the UK from Scandinavia every few winters and this year saw an influx, known as a 'waxwing winter.' Waxwings are bold birds that are comfortable feeding around our towns and cities, and over 7,000 were counted in this year's survey, in almost 1,000 gardens.
Rachael Murray, RSPB media officer in the Eastern Region says: "It's fantastic that so many people stepped up for nature by taking part. We were really interested to see how the small birds fared, after such a disastrous last year. It appears that many may have had a decent breeding season and have been able to bounce back a little.
Photo Credit: Jodie Randall (rspb-images.com)