THOUSANDS of birdwatchers in Burton and South Derbyshire who took part in an effort to track changes among feathered friends have helped discover major changes in the area.
Results captured by people who took part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch revealed that the house sparrow was once again the most spotted bird in both areas and across the country.
Blue tits finished second, which is their highest position since Big Garden Birdwatch began, and the previous occupier of the second spot, blackbirds, have now dropped to number four.
Goldfinches have climbed another place since last year, and now perch at number seven.
The robin, which has been as high as number seven in the past 10 years, has dropped back to the number 10 spot.
Richard Bashford, Big Garden Birdwatch organiser, said: “2014 was always going to be an interesting Big Garden Birdwatch as the winter has been so mild, and we wondered if it would have a significant impact on garden birds.
“They were out and about in the wider countryside finding natural food instead of taking up our hospitality. The good news is that this may mean we have more birds in our gardens in the coming breeding season because more survived the mild winter. It is a great time to give nature a home by putting up a nesting box and supplementary feeding.”
Scientists believe that the weather has played a role in the ups and downs in this year’s top 10 as many of the birds were recorded in lower numbers in gardens due to the mild conditions.
The survey took place in January and nearly 20,000 in total from the area took part.