RSPB survey: is your garden a wildlife haven?

PUBLISHED: 14:33 16 August 2012 | UPDATED: 14:45 16 August 2012

Survey winner: blackbird

Survey winner: blackbird


A garden survey of baby birds carried out during June shows Norfolk encouragingly bucking a national trend of falling numbers.

The RSPB’s annual Make Your Nature Count survey shows the number of gardens with baby birds in them was down by as much as 27pc across the country compared to last year. However, in Norfolk it actually rose from 57pc to 58pc.

Aggie Rothon, an RSPB spokesman for the eastern region, said: “The national drop is likely to be a result of wet and cold weather in the early part of the breeding season, making it harder for adult birds to find enough flying insects and caterpillars to feed their chicks.

“With adult birds spending longer away from the nest searching for food, chicks would also have been more exposed to the cold and predators.”

She said the figures for Norfolk reflected the fact that East Anglia was not as badly hit by wet weather as some other parts of England. The survey shows the wet weather as a mixed blessing for adult birds, with national sightings of song thrushes up on 12pc on last year and adult blackbirds being seen in more than 90pc of gardens across the country. Both favour worms and slugs, which could have been more plentiful and easier to find in wetter, softer ground.

In Norfolk, the percentage of gardens where blackbirds were seen remained high and fairly constant (96.25pc in 2012 compared to 97.8pc in 2011). The Norfolk figures for song thrushes were also fairly stable (24.8pc in 2011 compared to 21.6pc this year).

More than 78,000 people took part in the survey during the first week of June and logged birds and other wildlife in their gardens.

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