Big Garden Birdwatch finds fall in long-tailed tits and wrens after ‘beast from the east’
Fri 5 Apr 2019 06.00 BST
Almost 1.2 million house sparrows were spotted in British gardens during this winter’s Big Garden Birdwatch but smaller garden birds appear to have suffered from the previous winter’s cold weather.
Long-tailed tits decreased by more than 27% and wrens by 17% in 2019 after bumper years in 2018, according to the RSPB survey. Populations of both species are thought to have been affected by last year’s “beast from the east”: small birds are more susceptible to extreme chilly spells.
The most sighted species among 7.5 million birds counted by nearly 500,000 people over the last weekend in January was the house sparrow, followed by the starling, blue tit, blackbird and woodpigeon. Numbers of the latter have increased by more than 1,000% since the survey began in 1979.