The cold and snowy weather has boosted the number of blackbirds spotted in people’s gardens, according to bird experts.

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Participants in the British Trust for Ornithology’s (BTO) weekly Garden BirdWatch survey have revealed just how big an impact the recent spell of snowy weather has had on our feathered friends.

The Thetford-based centre’s study has shown that the number of blackbirds visiting gardens in mid-January was the second highest in a decade.

Mike Toms, head of garden ecology, said: “This winter, we saw the average numbers of blackbirds increase throughout October and November before they suddenly fell away with the arrival of a mild and wet spell just before Christmas, bucking the normal pattern.

“The arrival of the cold weather and snow during the second two weeks of 2013 changed all this and we saw a sudden leap in the average numbers.

“In fact, for the week beginning January 13, the average count is our second highest from a decade of recording. The snow that followed later that week may have driven even more blackbirds into our gardens, something that we’ll be able to report on after this ‘count’ week has ended and our observers can enter their records.”

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