• Claire Stott

Big Garden Bird Watch

The RSPB’s Big Garden Bird Watch is the world’s largest bird survey, held every winter in the UK. With over half a million participants it provides vital information on the population of some of our favourite garden birds.

Here are last years results

As you can see last year the most seen bird was the house sparrow but don’t let that statistic fool you, these birds have actually been in serious decline over recent years. Although still very common and widespread, estimates suggest the population has declined by around 70% since the Big Garden Birdwatch began back in 1979!

Male sparrow singing on the garden wall

It is reassuring then, for the house Sparrow to put in an appearance during my own garden bird watch. In fact it was the only bird to do so during the hour set aside for my count.

It is common to see dunnocks, blue tits and the odd starling visit our yard but typically today they were nowhere to be seen. Luckily the sparrows were happy to stick around, and put on a good show for the camera.

Feathers fluffed up against the cold

Female house sparrow

Female on the wall

Male showing off his beautiful brown wings

Male with black mask around the eye


Having a snooze

The male refusing to share his sunny spot on the wall

A garden mirror was a source of great interest, their reflections sending the pair of sparrows into an aggressive assault on this perceived threat to their territory.

I was able to get a few close up shots of the male house sparrow confronting his own reflection with feet outstretched, not easy due to the unpredictable nature of his attacks, although I am particularly pleased with these images.

Missed the Big Garden Bird Watch this year? Don’t forget to register next year for your chance to make a difference!

— All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography 2018 © http://www.greyfeatherphotography.com

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#outdoors #birdwatching #aberystwyth #conflict #photography #ornithology #housesparrow #birdbehaviour #gardenbirdwatch #gardenbrids

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