Hampshire gardeners seeing blackbird boom
HAMPSHIRE residents are spotting more birds in their back garden than they were 10 years ago, according to the RSPB.
In a survey of more than 490,000 people nationwide, the Big Garden Birdwatch gathered regional data from across the country.
House sparrow, starling and wood pigeons are the top three most common birds in Hampshire gardens.
Starlings are up nearly a third on numbers recorded 10 years ago, and struggling sparrows, having endured a national slump, now appear to be stabilising in Hampshire with a two per cent population increase since 2007.
Weather conditions leading up to the Big Garden Birdwatch meant this year, Hampshire gardeners were treated to a range of different visitors.
Along with waxwings, there was also a large jump in the number of visits from other migrant birds, such as redwing and fieldfare, as the sub-zero temperatures on the continent forced them to go in search of milder conditions.
Dr Daniel Hayhow, the RSPB conservation scientist, said: ‘The sight of a robin or blackbird perched on the garden fence is often one of the first experiences we have with nature.
‘To have more than half-a-million people taking part and counting a bumper eight million birds across one weekend is amazing.’
RSPB Officer Tim Webb said: ‘Gardens are an increasingly valuable resource for birds.
‘We are increasingly seeing rural birds such as goldfinches, in gardens and urban settings.
‘Our theory is that this behaviour change is because they are finding it easier to find food and shelter in gardens.’
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